GROWING UP FIT: Brush the decay away

GREENVILLE, NC (WITN) - In this month's Growing Up Fit segment, the Pitt County Health Department is reminding folks about the damage sugar can do to our teeth.

Sweet Tooth: Brush the Decay Away

Evidence has linked oral health habits to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It's important to know which foods have sugar in them and how it impacts your teeth and gums.

There are two types of sugar: “naturally occurring” and “added” sugars.

Bread, fruits, milk and starchy vegetable ssuch as corn and peas have naturally occurring sugars.

Soft drinks and sauces, like BBQ or ketchup have added sugars, which are high-calorie with little nutritional value.

One way to cut back on our “added” sugar intake is to rethink our drinks.

Sodas often times have more than double the recommended daily amount of sugar.

The health department advises limiting fruit juices to ½ cup per day; you can also try diluting with water or adding a splash of juice to water to give it flavor.

It can be difficult to limit sugar in our diets and there are some steps you can take to ensure it doesn't cause much damage to your teeth. How to protect ones oral health from sugary intake (Jessica)?

The sugar we consume acts as energy for the plaque-causing bacteria on our teeth, which dissolves our enamel and causes cavities and tooth decay. To combat plaque -- brush your teeth at least twice per day and floss at least once a day.

Be sure to watch the video for more!