Added sugar is not good for you. You know it, but a Milky Way bar is always tempting, and a gulp of Pepsi seems to be the best way to quench your thirst. And a bowl of Froot Loops is easier to prepare than any other breakfast. And that sponge cake? It’s a great end to any meal.
Added sugar is bad, and if you eat a bar of Milky Way with 58 grams, you just gave your body 8.75 teaspoons of sugar which are just 0.5 teaspoons short to the maximum amount of added sugars recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA) for men and three teaspoons over the recommendation for women.
A can of Pepsi has the same amount of sugar as that of a Milky Way bar, while 100 grams of Froot Loops have 10.5 teaspoons. A medium-sliced sponge cake has 5.5 teaspoons of sugar.
Additionally, sugar can also be your teeth’s worst enemy as bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar that is lingering in your mouth, resulting in cavities and other oral-related problems.
And if you think that unrefined sugar is a better option than refined sugar, you are wrong.
Unprocessed sugars like molasses, coconut sugar, honey, agave, raw sugar cane, and brown sugar are not necessarily better and are not also 100 percent safe for your teeth.
In fact, honey may be worse for your teeth than refined sugar because of its gooey texture despite it being a healthier alternative for its nutrients and antioxidants. Honey contains 80 percent sugar which provides an opportunity for the buildup of plaque, potentionally reulting in cavities.
If sugar consumption is hard to remove from your diet, take the following measures to prevent damaging your teeth:
- Limit your sugar intake. Since removing sugar from your life will be difficult, cut back the amount instead. Gradually decrease your sugar consumption. Start by eating three instead of four sweets a week. Then try eating two instead of three in the week that follows, and so on.
- Say “no” to or reduce sugary beverages like soda and coffee.
- Find alternatives. Instead of eating a Snickers bar during snack time, try fruit leather without added sugar. You can also substitute soda with fruit smoothies with no added sugar. Find healthier options that are good for your teeth and your overall health.
- If you are not hungry, do not munch on cookies and other snacks. These empty calories make for unnecessary sugar intake. If you are bored, do not reach for a chocolate bar. Keep yourself busy instead. If you feel like eating in between meals, try drinking a glass of water. And if your hunger persists, snack on healthier options like carrots or sliced apples instead of food with added sugar.
- After eating foods with sugar, drink water and brush your teeth thoroughly.
- Floss and rinse with mouthwash to ensure that sugary substance is not left in your mouth.
- Visit your dentist twice a year for check-ups. This way, you and your dentist can know the condition of your mouth and possible measures to take.
We love sweets, and we crave for them. But health must always be prioritized over sweetness.
And if choosing between letting sweets go and having healthy teeth is too much of choice, make sure to take extra measures to keep your teeth in their best condition through proper oral hygiene.
Top 3 Sugarless Health Foods
Dairy products: Plain yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products are rich in Vitamin D, phosphate and calcium. Each of the latter are vital minerals necessary for obtaining healthy teeth. In fact, the teeth contain mostly calcium. Therefore, a calcium deficiency can increase the risks of gum disease and tooth decay.
As an additional perk, calcium actually mixes with plaque so that when they stick to the teeth, they are shielded from releasing decaying-triggering acids. As an added bonus, calcium also aids in quickly rebuilding tooth enamel.
In case you are lactose intolerant, you can still receive the calcium you need. Calcium can be found in soy milk, calcium-rich juices and other foods and drinks.
Green and black teas: Green and black tea can suppress or terminate bacteria or impede them from developing from the start. In turn, this can reduce the amount of decay-causing acid from being released in your oral cavity. This does not only hinder cavity growth but also minimizes inflammation and the possibility of gum problems.
Depending on the type of water used to brew your tea, a cup of tea may also be a great source of fluoride. For good oral health, it is not advisable to add sugar to your tea. However, if you like your tea with milk, the added calcium can do wonders for your pearly whites.
Vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber: Fiber-rich foods can stimulate the flow of saliva. This is regarded as a natural protection against cavities.
This does not only clear away bits of foods and clean the mouth, but this also neutralizes the acids that attack the teeth. As a matter of fact, approximately twenty minutes after consuming some foods, saliva can naturally balance the acids that are known to bring damage to the teeth. Fresh, crisp veggies and fruits such as celery, carrots and apple stimulate the flow of saliva and help clean the plaque from the teeth. In turn, this leads to fresher, better-smelling breath.
Apart from the latter benefits, certain fruits and vegetables are rich in calcium. These include kale, broccoli, spinach, oranges, collard greens, raspberries, cabbage, okra, blackberries.
It is crucial to be careful about the foods we consume every day. If you prefer to be healthy inside and out, it’s important to be cautious of the foods you pick to buy, prepare and cook as this will remarkably affect your life ina variety of ways.