There’s nothing wrong with a little sugar indulgence every now and then. We get it, sometimes you just need a little fix with a sweet treat. But as most people know, sugar is something every dentist really doesn’t like. And with good reason (more on that in a bit). At our dental office in Lakeland, we want to help our patients limit how much sugar they consume with these simple tips.
What’s The Big Deal About Sugar Anyway?
Sugar is needed in order to have our bodies function properly. But too much of it can lead to some pretty serious issues. An abundance of sugar ingestion contributes to tooth decay and enamel erosion. When this happens, patients tend to need dental treatment like cavity fillings and perhaps even root canals to protect teeth from more damage. But that’s not all. A diet high in sugar also negatively affects the whole body. Too much sugar can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.
How Much Sugar Do You Need?
The amount of sugar someone should consume varies as we get older and even depends on our gender. Recommendations from the American Heart Association start at 12 teaspoons per day for anyone 3 and under, 21 teaspoons from 4 to 8, and increases to 29-34 grams in boys 9 to 19, and 23 to 25 grams in girls in the same age range. Once we reach adulthood, maximum daily sugar intake for men is 37.5 grams and 25 grams for women.
What Are The Best Ways to Limit Sugar in Your Diet?
- Eliminate sweets, or enjoy them in moderation. This tip seems obvious, but we do understand how difficult this may be. When you crave something sweet, opt for a piece of fruit.
- Know what you’re eating. Sugar can hide in some surprising places, and you may be unaware of just how much you’re actually eating. Get in the habit of reading the nutritional facts on your groceries.
- Enjoy home cooked meals. Making your own meals at home allows you to control what ingredients you use and can help you not only limit sugar, but eat healthier overall.
Taking these steps to decrease your sugar intake can help keep your teeth and body healthy. But that doesn’t mean other parts of your oral health care routine can take a backseat. It’s still, and always will be, important to brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist in Lakeland two times a year.