Everyone has heard that cutting down on refined sugars will help prevent and reduce tooth decay. A new study done by Newcastle University helps to define exactly how much we should cut back in order to improve dental health.
The Newcastle study was commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) and it recommends an average intake of less than 10% of “free sugars” as our total calorie intake. Free sugars are found in many foods today, often added by manufacturers, but they also include sugars naturally found in fruit juices, syrups and honey.
The study showed that where individuals consume less than 10% of their total calories in free sugars, they can expect less tooth decay and better oral health. When individuals reduced their sugar intake to less than 5% of their total calories, they enjoyed even greater benefits. At 5%, researchers believe that we can reduce cavities for many years into the future, thus keeping our original teeth well into old age.
Newcastle researcher, Professor Moynihan, commented saying, “People now expect to keep their teeth into old age and given that the effects of sugars on our teeth are lifelong, then limiting sugars to less than 5% of the calories we eat would minimize the risk of dental caries throughout life.”
Researchers believe that many of us set eating patterns at an early age that can include higher amounts of sugar leading to tooth decay even before the age of 12. If the diet goes unchanged and an individual consumes higher levels of sugar, the problem worsens as they age. Tooth decay is a progressive disease that is greatly affected by our food consumption.
Food and drinks with a high sugar content, especially processed foods that are so common in Western culture, can lead to higher numbers of cavities in both children and adults.
These types of foods also take a toll on our overall well-being, exhibited by the rising rates of diabetes and obesity seen in our culture. Professor Moynihan believes that altering our diet is the best solution for both good dental and physical health.
Dr. Foley, Dr. Jones, and their team enjoy teaching adults and children about the many benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Their patients know that they will receive top-notch dental services from a dentist that cares about their health. Dr. Foley is consistently voted among the top dentists in Nashville and she takes pride in helping her patients achieve optimal oral health. Why not call today and schedule your appointment with Nina Foley Dental Associates? Discover for yourself just how easy and enjoyable going to the dentist can be.