Smiling more makes us feel good. There’s no two ways about it; we all like smiles. From releasing endorphins to relieving stress there are a host of benefits to letting a smile creep across your face.
It’s World Oral Health Day on Friday, March 20 and this year the focus of the event is on ‘a smile for life.’ Organised by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Oral Health Day is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the issues around oral health and the importance of looking after oral hygiene to everyone old and young.
The FDI World Dental Federation are using the ‘smile for life’ message to increase awareness on the levels of sugar that we consume and the impact this has on our oral health.
Sugar, and hidden sugars, form a huge part of many diets yet there is a common lack of understanding of the negative impact this can have, not just on oral health, but on our wellbeing.
Without knowing it, we’ve become a generation of ‘sugar addicts’ which is leading to soaring obesity rates and unprecedented oral hygiene issues. If we want to keep that smile for life, then reducing our sugar intake is key.
Here’s some ideas for how you can start lowering your sugar intake to have better overall health:
- Cut out the snacks. Snacks are so easy. They tend to be cheap, hassle free and give us that instant sugar fix we crave. See if you can go a day, a week or even a month without the sugar-filled snacks and you’ll start to feel the difference in your wellbeing. If you really need a snack why not try carrot sticks or a handful of nuts as a healthy alternative?
- Drink less juice. Fruit juice is full of hidden sugars that have a direct impact on our teeth and is one of the biggest causes of cavities in children. Look at the amount of sugar your juice and smoothies contain and see if you can reduce the amount you consume.
- Eat a balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet is key to good oral health and avoiding tooth decay. Keep your diet varied and avoid processed foods where you can.
- Keep a food diary. Keeping a food diary is a great way to monitor what you eat. It’ll give you a fascinating insight into what you’re using to fuel your body and you’ll be able to identify ways where you can easily cut out the sugar.
As a starting point, why not try to go sugar-free on World Oral Health Day? And while you’re at it make sure you find the time to smile.