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New Year, New You?

10th January 2019

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year to you all! I can’t believe it’s just over a week since we welcomed 2019, and a whole two weeks since we were all celebrating Christmas – it’s true what they say, time flies when you’re having fun! It was a dry Christmas for me this year, so instead, I opted to fall into cheese induced comas wherever possible – it’s not healthier, but it certainly beats a hangover…

It’s now time to focus on the year ahead – what will 2019 bring for you?
I’ve never been particularly good at setting New Year resolutions, but I am trying a couple this year. My first one is to have breakfast every day, mostly so I’m not hangry by 10am. Richard and I have decided to try and have breakfast together before we set off for work, and so far, we’ve managed it! (It has only been 4 days though, so watch this space!) My other resolution is to go to bed earlier. We have a very bad habit of not actually making it up the stairs until 11pm, and by the time we’ve messed around in the bathroom, it’s verging on 11:30 before our heads hit the pillow. It just zombifies us the next morning, and makes basic human interaction that much harder – so I reckon an extra hour and a half of sleep will do us a world of good.

Have you set yourself any New Year goals?
This is normally the time of year for us to all get on the dieting bandwagon, buying in all the low fat, ‘syn free’, ‘low point’ foods the shops can offer us. These diets can be life changing – I know, because I’ve been there. I joined Weightwatchers in 2013, and managed over a couple of years to lose 4 stone – so believe me, I’ve been there, done that, and bought the food that is packaged to make you believe that a 45 calorie cookie is going to taste just as good as a 500 calorie cookie…

weight loss 1

Weight loss is a fantastic thing – getting yourself into the mind set of healthy eating and healthy living is one of the best things you can do for yourself – but it has to be in a sustainable way, and suited to your lifestyle. It also pays to be wary of what makes food healthy. A lot of low-fat products contain very high amounts of sugar – one of my favourite examples being the humble yoghurt. Yoghurts that are sold as 0% fat can often contain 22g of sugar per serving – so it’s well worth checking the little reference intake table on the corner of the packet!

jams

The dental community, alongside the NHS, strive to make people aware of the sugar content of food and drink in order to reduce the high sugar levels that we as a nation have become prone to consuming. It can often mean that eating and drinking becomes a bit of a minefield when it comes to your teeth– so here are some tips to try and keep them as healthy as possible:

– Avoid snacking between meals
If you need to snack, avoid sugary or acidic foods!
– Look for the reduced sugar foods
Making small changes in your diet can often lead to big results. An everyday breakfast such as jam on toast can easily have the sugar content reduced by opting for the reduced sugar jams that are now available – one example I found of low sugar jam contained 0.3g sugar per serving, compared to the 7.3g of sugar in the full sugar version.
– Drink water between meals
We know that drinks with high sugar levels are bad for our bodies and our teeth, but ‘diet’ and ‘sugar-free’ drinks have their pitfalls too. While they can often be calorie free, they still contain high levels of acid, which can lead to dental problems related to acid erosion. Juice drinks are also culprits for high acid content, so these are best kept for mealtimes.
– Brush your teeth twice a day and floss!
Plaque is a big factor in the cycle of dental decay – removing this will help to keep your mouth as healthy as possible!
– Brush either before breakfast, or at least an hour after your meal
After eating, your teeth are recovering from an acid attack – they are subjected to a process called demineralisation, and will need some recovery time to remineralise. If you brush during the period of time teeth are at their weakest, there is a risk that you will cause more damage to the enamel. If you like to have a freshen up following a meal, we recommend a fluoride mouthwash!

I think my resolutions are fairly easy to achieve this year, mainly because they don’t include getting myself yet another gym membership, or swearing off of cheese and chocolate for the month!
If you have set any yourself, I wish you the best of luck with them – lifestyle changes are tough – but worth the hard work! 😊

Amy x

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