The charity Cancer Research is encouraging us to test our sweet tooth this February by giving up sugar and raising money for its life-saving research.
So, if you want to ditch sugary food and drink for a good cause, how best to succeed?
Here, some top tips on how to giving up sugar for a month – and why it’s good for your own dental health.
Top tips for a going sugar free Check the sugar content in everything before you eat or drink it! It’s a given that fizzy drinks have a high sugar content but do you know just how sugary they are? You’ll also be surprised how many spoonfuls of sugar are in your morning coffee indulgence and in that bowl of cereal or cereal bar you have every morning.
Instead, opt for porridge and flavour naturally with fruit such as bananas and strawberries. Did you know that strawberries can naturally whiten teeth? And make sure you have breakfast to avoid those mid-morning hunger pangs! When it comes to lunchtime, prepare something at home to take to work. That way, you know exactly what sugar content there is in your lunch. Avoid the mayo in salads and make up a lemon and oil dressing. Studies suggest that the most common time of the day for energy slumped in in the afternoon, just after lunch, which is when many of us reach for a bar of chocolate around about that time. Resist the temptation and opt for carrot sticks and hummus, a handful of nuts of apple slices instead to raise those blood sugar levels. When it comes to your evening meal, those ready-to-pour sauces are crammed so full of sugar that experts say they should only ever be eaten once a week – so why not make your own healthier alternative Encourage your colleagues, family and friends to sign up, too – far easier if everyone around you is giving up! Agreeing some forfeits in case some of you slip back into those sugary habits! Book a dental appointment with your dentist of hygienist. If you haven’t been in a while, take the opportunity to discuss diet and nutrition in relation to the health of your teeth and gums. Take a look at some of the horrific images online to see how sugar can impact on your dental health – who knows, it may mean you’ll ditch it forever!And here, top tips for a healthy mouth Brush twice a day for at least two minutes, using fluoride toothpaste Chew sugarfree gum after meals to stimulate saliva that neutralises plaque acids Leave 30 minutes after a meal before brushing teeth as this can damage your teeth enamel Don’t just brush the tooth surfaces you see – make sure you clean between your teeth using interdental brushes or floss Buy a tongue scraper – smelly bacteria linger in between the papillae on the tongue’s surface and will lead to bad breath! Electric toothbrushes are scientifically proven to be more effective at removing plaque so upgrade for a better clean but make sure you change the head every three months. Set a reminder in your smartphone or subscribe to regular three-monthly purchases via Amazon, for example. Visit the dental team regularly for an examination, cleaning, advice and maintenance tips. Get your teeth and gums healthy – then reward yourself with some teeth whitening! If your gums bleed, or you notice any unusual ulcers or abscesses, book an appointment ASAP!
You can sign up to Cancer Research’s
month-long campaign here
. Good luck! Find a dental practitioner