Sugar is the single largest cause of dental caries (or tooth decay as it is more commonly known)

The facts:

  • Twenty-three percent of 8-year-olds and 40% of 15-year-olds consume sweet snacks or drinks between normal meals three or more times a day10; half (48%) of all adults snack between meals, most commonly on biscuits and cakes.
  • More than 8 out of 10 adults (86%) consume at least three servings a day of foods high in fats and sugar. The Food Pyramid recommends that these foods are best avoided and limited to “no more than 1 serving a day maximum and ideally not everyday.”
  • Poor nutrition is a “shared common risk factor” for cardiovascular diseases, cancer, obesity and oral diseases.
  • A healthy diet for oral health should be promoted as part of general nutrition advice.

(Source: Dental Health Foundation 2018)

How to cut your sugar intake:

  • Swap out the sugary fizzy drinks for their diet versions. Water is best, but if you really want something sweet to drink diet drinks can be a better choice than sugary ones.
  • Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice.
  • Check food labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Dairy and fruit products will contain some natural sugars. Added sugars can be identified in the ingredients list.
  • Replace it completely. Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Try extracts. Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts like almond, vanilla, orange or lemon.
  • When baking cookies or cakes, cut the sugar in your recipe by one-third to a half. Often you won’t notice the difference.
  • Use fresh fruit such as raspberries or blueberries to sweeten your breakfast cereal.

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