We all know that sugar is bad for our teeth as well as our health. The single most common sugar-related dental problem is tooth decay, and the message is clear that reducing the amount of sugar we eat and drink will help reduce the damage it causes to our teeth.

Here we take a look at a few helpful tips to cut down on the amount of sugar you consume, and following these tips will not only help to improve your oral health, it will also be great for your waistline too!

It is very easy to overindulge on sugar, especially at times of celebration such as at Christmas or when celebrating a birthday. This is why it is important to be careful where sugar is concerned and not let it creep into our diet every day and catch us out.

Don’t be fooled by a name

The food and drink industries have very clever people working for them who will try to disguise sugar in their products by giving it a different name. At the end of the day, sugar by any other name is still sugar. There are lots of hidden sugars to look out for, even in savoury foods that you would never think would contain sugar. There are lots of different names given to sugar, but the most common and easiest to spot on food labels are: sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, molasses, hydrolysed starch and corn syrup. Steer clear of these ingredients if you can.

Sugar-free breakfast choices

If you are used to a breakfast consisting of a bowl of cereal, toast and jam, and a all washed down with a glass of orange juice – you are in fact consuming a shockingly high amount of sugar!

It would be a better idea to fill up on protein-rich, sugar-free foods such as eggs and bacon or poached fish in the morning. Not only will your teeth not be open to an attack of sugar, you will be filling up on foods that will help to stabilise your blood sugar avoiding a blood-sugar crash mid-morning, and will stave off the need for an unhealthy sugary snacks during the day.

Swap your snacks

Ditch the biscuit barrel and choose to nibble on nuts instead. Natural nuts make a great snack alternative to sugar laden biscuits or chocolate bars and can give you that energy boost you need without any sugary attack on your teeth. If you are not into nuts, you could snack on other sugar-free things instead, such as jerky, pepperoni sticks, cheese cubes, sliced boiled eggs, or cold cooked meats.

Fat-free is not sugar-free

Don’t believe the hype that fat-free foods are a healthy choice. In most cases food manufacturers swap out the fat in their products for sugar in an effort to make them taste good. You may think you are being healthy by eating a fat-free yoghurt with your lunch, but in fact fat-free yoghurt contains a very high level of sugar, usually in the form of fructose or other refined sugars. If you like yoghurt, you would be much better off choosing a lovely creamy full-fat natural Greek yoghurt with no added sugar.

Get wise to hidden sugars in your food and make more natural food choices and your teeth and gums will thank you for it.