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16th February 2015

Alternatives for Easter

With Easter on the horizon the frenzy of shopping the supermarket isles for chocolates and cakes begins. Its good to know that there are healthier alternatives that you may wish to try instead. This year the Easter bunny can also provide you with sugar free alternatives that will put you in good stead for the rest of this year.

Simple sugars found in cakes, chocolates and sweets feed bacteria to create acids. These acids will destroy the surface of teeth. If you consume large amounts of sugar regularly, this can result in tooth decay. Over a period of time, your teeth may suffer. Replacing sugars with other forms of foods and taking on preventative measures will still allow you to enjoy yourself without the negative repercussions of tooth decay.

Here are some of the alternatives I have been able to find out.

Eat more fruit. Fresh fruits still have sugars but these are usually in a more complex form which means the bacteria cannot break this down as easily. Strawberries are a nice alternative to chocolate eggs and will help you reach one of your five a day.

Avoid soft drinks. Check the labels with most soft drinks. They may state that there is “no added sugar”, but the natural sugar content in these maybe very high already. Safer alternatives are plain water, sugar free flavoured water or diluted ‘squash type’ drinks.

At times you may feel that you just want to snack on whatever you may find in the snack drawer in the kitchen. Try and limit the amount of cakes and biscuits you consume. You can instead stock and replace this with nuts, crackers or popcorn. These are just as tasty but without the added sugars associated with cakes and biscuits.

Sugar free replacements exist that make foods taste sweet without any sugar such as Xylitol. This is a polyol, a sugar alcohol, formed from plants such as corn on the cob and it also occurs naturally in tress, plants, animals and even ourselves. Even though this is a type of sugar, it is not broken down in the same way so produces much less acid. It tastes very similar to natural sugar but without the prospect of tooth decay.

Xylitol is lower in calories and is though to have some tooth protecting benefits. In the supermarket and online you will find cakes and sweets that contain Xylitol. Confectionary containing Xylitol is endorsed by over 15 major dental associations worldwide and includes the British Health Foundation here in the UK.

As well as eating fewer sugars our dental team also encourage you to:
1. brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste
2.   visit you dentist regularly

This will ensure you have a fabulous decay free Easter. Enjoy!

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