Article to be attributed to Tabitha Acret, Dental Hygienist at AIRFLOW Dental Spa
Sugar is something that we hear about a lot, whether it be via school, doctors, nutritionists, the dentist. The reason why it’s such a hot topic is that it can become quite harmful to our health when consumed in excess amounts, so this year for Dental Health Week we want to ensure you know just how much sugar is hiding in your trolley.
This sweet substance has a direct connection to an oral health disease called caries, causing holes in the teeth. When you digest sugary food or drinks your mouth goes to battle; the saliva and good bacteria begin to fight off the acids, however, this can’t be done effectively when too much sugar is present. It coats the enamel and begins to eat away at the tooth causing deep pain. Holes are eventually formed and this can lead to tooth loss.
For parents in particular they are also fighting a battle against kid-friendly advertisements for unhealthy foods. Factor in labelling and the multiple names now used for sugar alternatives, and a simple snack becomes much more complex. Here are the top five snacks you should think twice about before buying:
Muesli bars are a lunchbox fav, kids get excited by the colours and characters that are often paraded on the packaging. I hate to break it to you, but this snack is almost always a candy bar in disguise! Scanning the shelves recently for both myself and my son, I was reading one label in particular which contained 40 grams of sugar per 100-gram serve. That’s almost half the nutritional content.
Choc chips, yogurt drizzle, on top of all that, sweeteners are usually a key ingredient. This varies between brands which is why it is so important to read the label ahead of purchasing.
I don’t want to stop you from eating yoghurt as it can be a very healthy snack for adults and children, however, you’d be surprised to learn that some tubs contain more sugar than soft drinks. The majority of products on the shelves are sweetened to taste and as a result, can have upwards of 17 grams of sugar per 100-gram serve. My advice here is to stick to natural Greek yoghurts and add real fruit for flavour. You want to be purchasing a product that has less than 10 grams of sugar within.
Many parents reach for a fruit cup because it is an easy and convenient snack option, perfect for any lunch box as it doesn’t need peeling and won’t get damaged. Sadly, this snack in particular provides no nutritional value, it is more sugar than it is fruit. The healthy alternative? You guessed it, a real piece of fruit. Banana peels, orange rind, it’s all part of nature’s packaging.
Fruit is full of natural healthy sugars, however, when the water content is removed and the fruit becomes more concentrated you are consuming higher amounts of sugar in a smaller form. Many people pick at dried fruit and trail mix thinking it’s the healthier alternative but when consumed in large amounts you might as well be eating lollies! Be sure to munch on a handful only, and always check the labels for added sugars within.
Beyond making healthy choices in the supermarket, it’s just as important that you and your children establish a routine when it comes to visiting the dentist for professional cleans. Did you know after 48 hours plaque hardens and becomes near impossible to remove without professional help? Treatments such as the AIRFLOW© Dental Spa are gentle and non-invasive using only high-pressure water and cleansing powder to remove any lasting bacteria or sugary residue.
Brush your teeth, read those labels, and happy shopping!
Tabitha has 22 years’ experience in the dental industry. She graduated from Newcastle University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Oral Health and has since worked in private practice and as a dental educator at Sydney University.
Tabitha has a passion for community dentistry, preventative care, and implant maintenance. She has volunteered clinically both within Australia and overseas and volunteers regularly for the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia (DHAA). She is the current DHAA National Vice President, Northern Territory Director, and Chair of Continuing Education nationally.
The recently launched EMS AIRFLOW® Dental spa means that you can now experience lighter and brighter clean teeth without the pain! No more mess, no more nails scraping like noise on the blackboard and no more cold water. AIRFLOW® is a revolutionary, non-contact form of dental cleaning and prevention. It projects a controlled stream of air, warm water, and powder onto the tooth and in hard-to-reach areas to dislodge and remove food, bacteria, discolouration, and stains. Goodbye coffee and red wine stains! The high-pressure water/air stream cleans your teeth much faster, efficiently, and comfortably than the use of traditional cleaning methods. AIRFLOW® is akin to being at a day spa but instead of beauticians working on your face, your dentist or dental hygienist is gently exfoliating your teeth. With the water in the AIRFLOW® Dental Spa heats up to 40 degrees, it’s a positively warm experience.
To experience the AIRFLOW Dental Spa visit www.airflowdentalspa.com.au to find your closest dental practice. Can’t find a practice near you? Recommend your local dental practice here: www.airflowdentalspa.com.au/suggest-practice
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