In all the hype about how bad added sugars are for our waistlines, it’s easy to forget the original “quit sugar” message dentists have been shouting about for years – it’s disastrous for our teeth.
With our fluoride-filled water supply, twice-a-day teeth-brushing habits and odd check-up at the dentist, many of us consider our oral health well taken care of.
So if there’s one “guilt” on our mind as we tear open a packet of lollies, it’s usually the affect it could have on our clothing size, or even our complexion.
“The relationship between eating sugary foods or drinking sugary drinks is direct – the more often you eat sugars, the higher the risk of dental decay,” Professor David Manton, Australian Dental Association spokesperson, tells Coach.
When we eat sugar, the bacteria in the biofilm (plaque) on our teeth change to be more acidic.
“They overgrow, squeezing out the healthy bacteria [and] dissolving the mineral from the tooth it is attached to,” Professor Manton says.
“After this acid loss goes on for a while, a white spot lesion appears [which is] an early area of dental decay. If the white spot loses more mineral, then a hole can form.”
Professor Manton says one of the best things we can do for our teeth is to avoid sugary foods and drinks as much as possible.
“Added sugars are the worst – especially sucrose [cane sugar]. There is sugar in fresh, whole fruits however it is considered far less damaging than added sugars [unless] you juice, cook or dry the fruit — then the decay risk increases,” he points out.