News & stories relating to our dental & cosmetic treatments.
The truth about Sugar
Sugar is very tempting
Raise your hand if you have a sweet-tooth! Come one, don’t deny it. Thousands of Americans admit that they love sweets and that they are in some ways, addicted to sugar. I don’t blame you. Sugar is very tempting. It’s an integral part of our day to day meals and it’s the main component of our most indulgent desserts.
There’s one problem though. Sugar can be very bad for the health. If we aren’t mindful of our sugar intake, it can lead to a lot of health problems and complications. Today we’re going to discuss how sugar can be a silent killer.
Where do we get sugar?
First we need to know the basics of what sugar is.
Sugar or sucrose, is a carbohydrate that’s made up of two simpler sugars: fructose and glucose. Sucrose occurs naturally in plants and some fruits. However, processed or refined sugar is also common.
There is also another type of sucrose which is called granulated sugar (high fructose corn syrup). This type of sugar is used to sweetened foods and drinks like cakes, ice cream and soda.
You should also note that certain varying amounts of sugar can be found in other types of food like bread, cereals and juices.
Sugar (foods with sugar) is very easy to consume because it doesn’t make you feel full. But the truth is that it is high in calories and can be very bad for you.
The average person takes in 153 pounds of sugar a year OR ½ cup each day. That seems fine, right?
No. Our bodies aren’t built to process (or digest) huge amounts of sugar. This results into a ton of possible ailments and complications brought about by too much sugar.
Reasons to avoid sugar
Too much sugar is bad for the health and here some reasons why:
It can cause numerous diseases and allergies such as:
It promotes wrinkles and premature aging thanks to collagen loss
Compromises your immune system
You will feel a lack of energy (crash) after a sudden sugar spike (rush)
Can cause obesity and other weight problems
Increases your uric acid levels which causes inflammations leading to strokes, heart attacks
Can cause a rapid rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels
Weakens your eyesight
Can cause haemorrhoids and varicose veins
Can induce headaches and migraines
Promotes cavities, tooth decay and periodontal disease (trust your dentist on this one)
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other reasons on why sugar is bad for you.
How to deal with sugar
“Okay, so what do I do now?”
Don’t worry, there are ways on how to avoid the negative effects of sugar. You can start by watching what you eat. Be mindful of the foods that you eat on a daily basis. Is your diet filled with nutritious food, or are you always munching on junk foods that are rich in sugar?
Try to revise your diet and put in healthier alternatives to sugar. I know that it’s hard to fight your cravings, but instead of grabbing a chocolate bar, why don’t you munch on an apple instead? It’s naturally sweet AND also has lots of nutrients in it too. You can also try sugar substitutes with your food and drinks.
In addition, you should also drink lots of water, get plenty of sleep and exercise regularly. Doing these will help to fight the negative effects of sugar, and will also lead you into a healthier lifestyle.
Sugar is a Silent Killer
Yes, sugar is very tempting and it does make our foods taste very nice, but in the end, the long-term health effects outweigh the short-term indulgence. Sugar is a silent killer and it’s time that you became aware.
So the next time you go out for a huge cup of Chocolate Mocha or a generous slice of Carrot Cake, it’s best to think twice.
Tips for a 'Tooth-friendly' Diet
People like to say “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what can you do to keep the dentist at bay? First, brushing and flossing daily are crucial. But your diet can also play an important role in your oral health. In fact, changes in your mouth start the minute you ingest certain foods. Bacteria present in the mouth can convert sugars to acids and those acids attack the enamel on teeth, beginning the decay process. The more you eat and snack, the more exposure teeth get to the cycle of decay. To prevent tooth decay and cavities, we are sharing top 5 tips for a tooth-friendly diet:
1. Say cheese for whiter teeth. Chomping on cheese — specifically aged Cheddar or Swiss — can help keep your smile sparkling white due to the presence of casein and whey protein, which helps keep tooth enamel in top form by reducing demineralization. Cheese also has vital, tooth-building calcium. More cheese, please!
2. Load up on proteins. Beef, chicken, eggs and nuts help protect tooth enamel by providing the calcium and phosphorus needed to re-mineralize teeth (a natural process by which minerals are re-deposited in tooth enamel after being removed by acids).
3. Shop the produce section. Fruits and veggies are great for teeth — especially when eaten raw – because that helps remove plaque and massages your gums. Choose fruits rich in Vitamin C, which help hold our body’s cells together. Good choices include broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin. These foods are rich in Vitamin A, which helps tooth enamel form.
4. Chew sugarless chewing gum. The saliva generated from chewing gum can actually help to remove food particles from your mouth. Just make sure to read the package to guarantee it is sugar-free.
5. Opt for simple beverages. Try plain water, milk and unsweetened tea to stop your thirst. Limit consumption of sugary drinks like coke, lemonade and coffee or tea with added sugar, as these expose teeth to decay-causing acids. The worst foods for your teeth? There are the obvious ones like candy and desserts. But did you know cough drops, bananas, grapes and other dried fruits can contain large amounts of sugar and can stick to teeth, providing a spot for bacteria to grow?
Even if you follow these dietary guidelines, you still need to brush and floss daily. We also recommend visiting your dentist and hygienist twice a year for check-ups to maintain optimal oral health!
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
What’s baby bottle tooth decay?
Baby bottle tooth decay is a dental problem that develops in infants, especially infants that are put to bed with a bottle containing a sweet liquid. Baby bottle tooth decay is also called nursing-bottle caries and bottle-mouth syndrome. Bottles containing liquids such as milk, formula, fruit juices, sweetened drink mixes, and sugar water continuously bathe an infant's mouth with sugar. The bacteria in the mouth use this sugar to produce acid that destroys the child's teeth. The upper front teeth are typically the ones most severely damaged; the lower front teeth are protected to some degree by the tongue. Pacifiers dipped in sugar, honey, corn syrup, or other sweetened liquids also contribute to baby bottle tooth decay. The first signs of damage are chalky white spots or lines across the teeth. As decay progresses, the damage to the child's teeth becomes more obvious.
How can I prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
First, never allow children to fall asleep with a bottle containing milk, formula, juice or other sweetened liquids. Then, be sure to clean and massage the baby's gums once a day to help establish healthy teeth and to aid in teething. Wrap a moistened gauze square or washcloth around the finger and gently massage the gums and gingival tissues.
Plaque removal activities should begin when the first baby tooth erupts. When brushing a child's teeth, use a soft toothbrush and a pea-shaped amount of toothpaste. Before a child can spit, be sure to use non-fluoride toothpaste. However, once a child is able to spit, you should use fluoride toothpaste. Parents should first bring their child to the dentist when the child is between 6 and 12 months old.
Will changes in my child's diet help prevent baby bottle tooth decay?
Preventing baby bottle tooth decay can involve changes in a child's diet. A series of small changes over a period of time is usually easier, and eventually leads to better oral health.
To incorporate these changes:
Gradually dilute the bottle contents with water over a period of two to three weeks.
Once that period is over, if you give a child a bottle, fill it with water or give the child a clean pacifier recommended by a dentist. The only safe liquid to put in a bottle to prevent baby bottle tooth decay is water.
Decrease consumption of sugar, especially between meals.
Children should be weaned from the bottle as soon as they can drink from a cup, but the bottle should not be taken away too soon, since the sucking motion aids in the development of facial muscles, as well as the tongue.
Why should I be worried about baby bottle tooth decay?
Giving an infant a sugary drink at nap or nighttime is harmful because during sleep, the flow of saliva decreases, allowing the sugary liquids to linger on the child's teeth for an extended period of time. If left untreated, pain and infection can result. Severely decayed teeth may need to be extracted. If teeth are infected or lost too early due to baby bottle tooth decay, your child may develop poor eating habits, speech problems, crooked teeth and damaged adult teeth. Healthy baby teeth will usually result in healthy permanent teeth.
Crowns-What are they?
A crown is a dental restoration that completely covers or surrounds a tooth or dental implant and it is typically fixed to the tooth using traditional dental cement. They are used to protect and restore a broken, weakened or heavily filled tooth. Crowns can be made out of numerous materials, including metals and ceramics. Crowns are frequently used to improve strength or appearance of discoloured or crooked teeth.
What will my dentist do?
your dentist will shape the tooth so that when the artificial crown is fitted, it will be the same size and shape as a normal tooth
preparation time will depend on how damaged the tooth is and whether it needs to be built up first
if the tooth has died or there isn't enough left to support the crown it may have to be root-filled first -this is sometimes called 'removing the nerve'. The crown is sometimes held in place by a peg or post in the root canal if a lot of the tooth is missing
your dentist will use a soft mouldable material to make an exact impression of what remains of the tooth that is to be crowned and the adjacent teeth
a dental technician uses the impression to make the crown
a temporary crown made of plastic is usually put over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. You can chew on a temporary crown but it won't be as strong as the finished one
when the crown is fitted, you dentist may need to make small adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably. The crown is tried on and then cemented into place
What are the benefits?
a crown is strong and can look and feel exactly like a natural tooth. The colour and shape can be matched to your own teeth
depending on the strength of the tooth underneath, a crown can last for many years if looked after well and is not accidentally damaged
crowns can also improve your appearance
What are the maintenance requirements for dental crowns?
Dental crowns need to be monitored on a periodic basis. Similarly to the natural teeth, teeth with crowns also need to be professionally cleaned. By doing so, some of the problems can be prevented and if detected, addressed early.