06 Nov Hidden Sugars Can Hurt Your Teeth
Dentists don’t hate sugar, but they hate what sugar can do to your teeth. When we think of sugar in food, we think of candy, cookies, cakes, pie and more, but the truth is that sugars are abundant in many foods posing with different names. This includes food we think of as savory and not sweet by nature. Great for our taste buds, but bad for our teeth. These sugary foods are loved by the bacteria in our mouths whether we are aware of these sugars or not.
Might Not Say Sugar, But, Yeah it’s Basically Sugar
The many names for sugar these days are astounding. It hides in plain sight and causes us not to see it on nutritional labels. Made more confusing by the weird names it goes by. Never fear, here is a list of the common offenders.
- The big “Ose”- Fructose, dextrose, maltose, sucrose. Sugar basically renamed using their molecule counterparts.
- “Natural” Sugars – honey, agave, juice concentrates, etc.
- Team Sugar – Brown, malt, cane, liquid, molasses.
Reading labels is always important along with knowing how sugar disguises itself in common foods. By being aware of what types of foods contain sugar you can save your teeth from future issues. Things like store bought bread, granola, fruit flavored anything all contain sugar. Check the label and remember its okay to have sugar, just be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
Sugar Consumption Recommendations
It would seem impossible to avoid all sugars altogether, but our teeth will last a lot longer if we reduce our sugar consumption. If you stick to the American Heart Associations guidelines you have a better chance of protecting your teeth. They recommend no more than 25 grams per day for females and 36 grams/day for males. It might seem like a stretch at first but your body adjusts and it becomes easier to eat less the longer you try.
Healthier Sugar Alternatives
Not only reducing sugar intake but the types of sugar we ingest can have a positive impact on our health. Sticking with natural sugars when you have a craving can make all the difference. Foods like fruit are easier to digest because of their natural fiber properties and will also make you feel more full. Drinking juice, on the other hand, will not only coat your teeth but will not fill you up like an apple or banana.
There are a number of ways to protect your teeth such as reducing your sugar consumption. Be sure to brush twice daily, floss and visit your dentist. Prevention is always the best medicine. If you eat a lot of sugary foods or haven’t been your Colorado Springs dentist in over 6 months, give us a call today.