Recent data have revealed a 10 per cent increase in children requiring hospital based tooth extractions in the last four years.
Decay happens when sugars in food or drink react with plaque bacteria forming acids. Everytime you eat or drink anything with sugar in these acids attack the teeth and dissolve the enamel. These attacks can last for up to one hour before your saliva neutralises them and causes your enamel to remineralise. Snacking between meals can increase the risk of decay as the teeth come under constant attack.
Public Health England have launched the Eatwell Guide to highlight the dangerous effect hidden sugars can have on our oral health. The guide is a visual way of showing how to keep a balanced diet, whilst highlighting the negative effects fruit juices and smoothies, which are currently very fashionable can have on out oral health.
There is a real problem in getting everyone to recognise when there are hidden sugars in food or drink- many people are just not aware of this and this can be a huge problem when it comes to oral health.
Patients can often be surprised when they continue to have problems even when they follow recommendations to brush for 2 minutes twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, this is mainly down to hidden sugars in their diet and apparently healthy foods and drink. Even us dental professionals sometimes fall for it with Rachel buying a so called super drink to find it had more sugar in than a can of coke! We need to make sure that we read labels which are on the foods which we buy.
But do you know what you are looking for? Sugars can come in many forms, usually ingredients ending in “ose” are sugars, for example sucrose, fructose and glucose, many processed foods contain sugar and the higher up in the list of ingredients they appear the more sugar they contain. Also, to add to confusion “no added sugar” does not necessarily mean sugar free, it means what it says-no sugar has been ADDED. The sugars may also be listed as carbohydrates- please ask us if you are unsure!