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How much sugar is hiding in your trolley?

Updated: Jul 28

Sugar is everywhere in supermarket staples, even in many that might appear to be healthy on the surface. That's why this Dental Health Week (3 - 9 August | dentalhealthweek.com.au), the Australian Dental Association (ADA) is pulling back the sugary curtain to show you what’s really in the food you eat, and how this information can help you be healthier all over but especially in your mouth.

Hidden sugars are everywhere but most people aren't conscious of how much is in their food

You might think that a little extra sugar here and there isn’t such a big deal, but the odds are that you are taking in far more than you realise.

Figures show that the average Australian is consuming 14 teaspoons of sugar a day, a whole lot more than the maximum six teaspoons a day recommended by the World Health Organisation for increased health benefits such as decreasing the risk of tooth decay, which is having a profoundly negative effect on Australia’s dental health.


Why sugar is so bad for your teeth?

The more sugar you consume, the more you increase your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay is the most prevalent dental problem in Australia, experienced by more than 90% of adults at some point in their lives, and gum disease is one of the reasons behind tooth loss.


Watch this informative video and learn everything you need to know about tooth decay:



Slide the tiles below and become “sugar savvy” by learning:


1 - what daily sugar consumption level looks like in relation to the food you eat,

2 - how to read a food label so you can see what’s really in your food, and

3 - how to protect your teeth


The good news is that is easy to keep your teeth and gums healthy by following a few simple steps:


Brushing Brush for at least two minutes twice a day, taking care to use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean your teeth systematically along all surfaces, always brushing in small, circular motions.


Flossing Flossing (or using an interdental brush) once a day is important because it removes plaque from between your teeth which goes a long way in helping to prevent gum disease, tooth decay and halitosis (bad breath). It's not something that should be rushed either. Take your time, using a gentle side-to-side motion with about 45cm wound around your middle fingers and thumb. If you're not sure about the right technique, have a chat to your dentist who can show you all the right flossing moves. Say "Hello!" To your dentist You should really be seeing your dentist every 6 to 12 months or as needed to keep on top of your dental health.


Eat and drink well Beyond limiting the sugar you eat, drink more tap water, avoid snacking between meals and eat the good stuff for your teeth like vegetables and dairy products.


Reference: ADA

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