Dental Hygienist Katherine Brown looks at sugar in the Australian diet, and the ways our sugar consumption is impacting our dental health.
“Recent statistics report that Australians are eating an average of 14 teaspoons of added sugar per day, so it is no surprise that tooth decay is an all too common problem,” says Katherine.
“The bacteria in our mouth feeds on the sugar we eat and drink, and produces acid that erodes teeth and contributes to tooth decay.”
The reports presented by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show the need for improvements to our dental health, particularly when it comes to being more aware of the ways added sugars are entering our diets.
These are often present in unhealthy junk food and processed food items and convey little health benefit (or none at all). Their removal from our diet has many positive impacts – not just for our teeth but our entire bodies. However, not all sugars are bad, and we need to remember that any dietary changes need to be considered in the context of your overall health.
For example, added sugars are not the same as naturally occurring sugars, and are present in foods like fruit. These provide our bodies with important nutrition, so these shouldn’t be removed from our diets as a rule. Instead, your dental team can show you strategies and techniques to manage the impacts of any sugar in the healthy foods you like to eat and can assess your dental health to see if there are any long-term effects.
The main topics covered in our video include –
- Sugar intake & diet in Australia
- Natural vs. processed sugars
- Managing the impacts of sugar on our dental health