Starting the day after Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, and finishing at Easter, Lent lasts for 40 days. Traditionally many people give things up for Lent or at least try to cut down on them. Some people go without alcohol, while others may try to quit smoking. Giving up sugar is a popular choice and naturally I’m a big supporter of anything that encourages my patients to eat less sugar.
Five easy tips for reducing your sugar intake
- Stop adding sugar to any of your food or drinks – obvious but still important!
- Look out for the hidden sugars in things like smoothies and cereal.
- Try fresh fruit, cheese and milk. These are much better than dried fruit, fizzy drinks and sugar based foods. Read my earlier blog here about the trouble with raisins!
- If you find it very hard to give up sugar completely, then make sure you keep sugary snacks to mealtimes. Snacking throughout the day means your teeth come under constant attack from acid and sugar. Keeping these to mealtimes gives teeth time to recover.
- Try sugar free gum as this can help your oral hygiene.
NHS guidelines on dentistry emphasise the importance of better prevention leading to less invasive dental treatment. I’m a really keen advocate of preventative dentistry and I believe that improving oral hygiene is an effective step in radically improving dental health. Cutting down your sugar intake is the first step towards better oral health. In adulthood, poor oral health may increase the risk of serious diseases such as stroke, diabetes and heart attacks. Children may find that tooth decay has a significant impact on their general health development, school readiness, confidence, ability to sleep, eat and socialise.
If you’re looking for an NHS dentist for yourself or your children, contact us. We are based in Monton, Davyhulme, Salford and Ancoats. Whether you are after a simple check-up or want to talk to us about special cosmetic or aesthetic work on your teeth, please get in touch.