Helping to prevent tooth decay and obesity by reducing fizzy drink consumption.
February sees the start of a brand new health campaign, and one that could be of significant benefit to adults and children alike. It encourages us to cut out, or at least cut down, on the number of fizzy soft drinks that we consume. Although this is a general health campaign which is also aimed at reducing obesity; if successful, it could have a very positive effect for our Greenwich patients.
Sugar, as we know, is one of the foodstuffs that is harmful for our teeth. Even if we don’t eat sweets, we probably consume more than our fair share in ready made products, even savoury ones. Those who also consume sugary fizzy drinks may be unaware of just how much sugar there is in a can.
For example, did you know that the sugar content of a can of a very well known brown fizzy drink contains just over 9 teaspoons of sugar (12oz can)? Given that the recommended maximum amount of sugar we should eat each day is approximately 7 teaspoons and you can see that just drinking one can a day already exceeds this figure.
How much damage can sugar cause
As we aren’t qualified to offer general medical advice, we won’t explore the issues of obesity and diabetes here, but instead, turn our attention to some of the dental issues that we see at the Confidental Clinic, which too much sugar can contribute towards.
How many of us have been told that if we ‘eat too many sweets and your teeth will fall out’? Probably most of us we suspect. The fact is that excess sugar consumption will certainly increase the likelihood of tooth decay which could ultimately lead to the need to have teeth extracted. If you see a dentist at our Greenwich practice on a regular basis though, you may not have to have fillings if problems are detected early enough. Continued excess sugar consumption though, will almost certainly lead to oral health issues.
Fizzy drinks are notoriously harmful to the enamel on the surface of your front teeth. The chances of this can be reduced a little by drinking through a straw, and thereby bypassing the front tooth surface to some degree. It is still likely though, that the sugary and acidic properties of these drinks will lead to a gradual thinning of the enamel. This can lead to sensitive teeth and also increases the risk of tooth decay.
Although other factors, such as poor oral health care, play a major role in gingivitis and periodontitis, sugar acts as a food source for the harmful bacteria that contribute to gum disease. If allowed to get out of control, sore and bleeding gums may follow, along with eventual tooth loss if not treated in time.
What should you drink instead?
Water, pure and simply, is excellent in several ways. It not only rehydrates you but is entirely sugar free and helps to wash away residual food and bacteria from the mouth as well. It may take a little effort to wean yourself off sugary fizzy drinks, but the benefits of doing so are quite significant.
If you would like any oral health advice from one of our Greenwich dental team, we are always happy to help towards the improvement of our patient’s teeth and gums. You can contact us by calling the Confidental Clinic on 020 8858 1422.