Do you consume a lot of sugar? Do your kids? A recent study done by researchers at University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation of a maximum of 10% total daily calories from sugar should be lowered to 5%, or even better—3%.
Researchers found that when children went from consuming almost no sugar to 5% of total daily calories their rate of tooth decay doubled. Did you read that right? DOUBLED. That’s crazy. And as the sugar intake rises, so does the tooth decay.
It is no secret that sugar eats away at your teeth. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of certain sugars, producing plaque and acid in the mouth, which erodes your pearly whites. Unless the teeth are cleaned really well, the acids will continue to destroy your teeth.
With the rise in fluoride use and preventative dentistry, you would think that the incidence of tooth decay would sharply decline. It hasn’t, however. In fact, it’s just as high in adults as it is in kids. The good folks at the World Health Organization blame this on the sharp increase in sugar consumption.
WHO considers sugar to be any monosaccharide or disaccharide that a manufacturer, cook, or consumer adds to foods, plus the sugars that are naturally present in honey, maple syrup, and fruit juices are also considered a sugar.
Do you know how much sugar you consume each day? Maybe it’s time to start monitoring your sugar intake (and your kids’!). Not only will in improve your dental health, but your overall health as well. Even if you feel that your sugar intake is relatively low, we encourage you to start reading your food labels. You will be surprised at how many foods contain added sugar! From ketchup to pasta sauce to dried fruit, sugar is everywhere.