Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated their recommendations regarding the amount of sugar that should be consumed daily. The new recommendations call for cutting the current sugar intake levels in half. For a little over a decade, recommended sugar intake was about 10% of total daily calorie intake. According to the WHO’s new guidelines, we should be shooting for 5% of total daily calorie intake. One of the primary reasons the WHO adjusted their sugar intake guidelines is to address the growing obesity epidemic worldwide. However, there is also concern that consuming a diet high in sugar can adversely impact your oral health, increasing your risk of tooth decay. When you eat, bacteria in your mouth interact with sugars and starches that collect on your teeth, producing an acid which attacks your teeth. Certain sugary candies which stick to your teeth for extended periods of time will do more damage than sweets which can be washed away with saliva. However, anytime you consume sugary foods and treats, this acid will be produced. As a result, it is no surprise that people who consume large amounts of soft drinks, candy, and other sugary foods and beverages are at greater risk of tooth decay. In order to reduce this risk, the American Dental Association has made the following recommendations:
- Limit eating and drinking between meals and when you snack, choose foods that are low in sugar
- Limit consumption of sugary foods and beverages, particularly soft drinks and sticky candies
- Use a straw when drinking soft drinks to limit your teeth’s sugar exposure
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day, but whenever possible brush after food and beverage consumption to remove the sugar from your teeth before it is transformed into damaging acids
- Do not sip sugary drinks for prolonged periods of time, since this will extend the amount of time your teeth are attacked by acids produced by bacteria in your mouth
In addition, it is important to visit Dr. Wilcox twice a year for your regularly scheduled dental checkups. During these visits, Dr. Wilcox will remove the buildup of plaque and tartar which cannot be accomplished by brushing and flossing alone. In addition, Dr. Wilcox will examine your teeth for signs of tooth decay, ensuring that all cavities are repaired in their early stages before they develop into more serious oral health issues. Please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your dental checkup. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in the Phoenix, Arizona area.