One can of soft drink alone may contain up to ten teaspoons of sugar. This is well above the daily requirement of sugar consumption for a grown adult, so you could imagine the impact it can have on a growing child whose daily requirements are much lower.
Sugar, comes in various forms:
- Sucrose– Sugar cane source
- Fructose– Natural Fruit source
- Lactose– Found in mild dairy products
Unfortunately your body and mouth cannot differentiate between which source of sugar you have consumed and therefore reacts the same way to each different type. As soon as we drink or eat anything containing sugar, the insulin in our body responds and starts to break it down. This may cause the body to become overloaded with sugar and result in illnesses such as Diabetes.
There are two types of Diabetes:
• Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune condition. The immune system is activated to destroy the cells in the pancreas which produce insulin. This is not related to any modifiable lifestyle factors and is mostly diagnosed in early childhood.
• Type 2 Diabetes accounts for 85-95% of all Diabetes, usually occurring in adults over the age of 45 but is increasingly occurring in younger age groups including children, adolescents and young adults ( https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/type-2-diabetes).This is just one of the ways excessive sugar can impact our bodies. From a dental perspective, we have also seen an increase in the rate of decay in adults and children as young as 2 years old.
We believe by educating our patients we can assist in the prevention of dental decay and help improve their general wellbeing.
We encourage substituting soft drinks and sports drinks with water. Sports drinks account for one of the biggest causes of increase in decay we see in children today. They are readily available and are usually consumed after school or after sports activities when the body is dehydrated and the mouth is usually at its driest. The best source of rehydration, water, is readily available free from our taps and also provides beneficial protection from the mineral source, Fluoride.
Remember, “the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. The average adult human body is 50-65% water, averaging around 57-60%. The percentage of water in infants is much higher, typically around 75-78% water, dropping to 65% by one year of age.”
Many of the elderly patients we see at the surgery are on medications that cause the mouth to become dry and make the body feel dehydrated. Our recommendation for all age groups is go straight to the correct source of rehydration- being plain old H20!
The message we are trying to send our patients is don’t give in to your sugary craving when it comes to drinks. They have absolutely NO nutritional benefits for the body and can lead to multiple areas of decay in the mouth.
We love educating parents and kids on diets to help prevent decay and benefit your body long term. When you are feeling dehydrated remember it’s a sign from your body that it low in WATER the H2O stuff, the simple stuff.
So don’t reach for that can of soft drink with 10 TEASPOONS of sugar in it that will send your poor body into a spin and create an acidic environment in your mouth most likely causing decay long term.