We all love sugar, but we know that sugar is what feeds oral bacteria and causes cavities and other problems in the mouth.
Too much sugar consumption is one of the many causes of tooth decay. For this reason, cutting back on sugar is key to a healthier mouth.
Here are some tips to help you eliminate your sugar addiction:
Slowly decrease your sugar consumption, little by little.
Let’s face it, everyone wants to cut back on sugar intake, but nobody wants to go through the “sugar withdrawals.”
Sweet tooths know their daily dose of sugar is a must. If one chooses to cut back on their sugar consumption, gradually eliminating sweet treats is key rather than quitting or dramatically cutting back.
Instead of eating, say three sweets a day, try cutting it back to two. Then a week later, cut back to one sweet a day, and so on.
Find alternative snacks that are just as tasty.
Once you start cutting back on sugar, it’s time to find alternatives, so you won’t miss sugary snacks. Sugarless fruit leather, celery with peanut butter and raisins, and sliced bananas drizzled with a bit of honey and crushed almonds are healthier alternatives.
Fruit smoothies and fresh-squeezed juices with no added sugar are also tasty and healthy options. In addition to finding alternative snacks that still have a sweet flavor, searching for healthy, savory foods you love will make cutting back on sugar easier than ever.
Limit or reduce sugary beverages such as soda or coffee/tea with added sugar.
Soda and other beverages with added sugar are tasty, we get it. However, because sugary drinks can be consumed so quickly, often mindlessly, these should be the first to go when cutting back on sugar.
How many times have you gone to a restaurant and ordered a soda only to find that your drink is empty 15 minutes later, so you get a refill? Probably pretty often. Even when you’re not hungry, a sugary soda can still so easy be consumed without second thought. Limiting your soda intake or avoiding adding sugar to coffee or tea is important when cutting back on sugar.
Avoid the empty calories.
It’s so easy to continue munching on a cookie that you’re not even hungry for or don’t like all that much. Things like this are just empty calories and make for unnecessary sugar intake and should be avoided.
When you’re bored, instead of snacking aimlessly, keep yourself busy. If you find yourself hungry in between meals, you may actually be thirsty. It sounds odd, but it’s a definite possibility.
Try drinking a glass or two of water. After a half hour or so, if you’re still hungry, your body really is wanting a snack. Find something healthy to eat such as sliced apples, carrots and hummus, or yogurt.
In addition to cutting back on sugary foods and beverages, making smart decisions when it comes to snacking between meals, and finding healthier alternatives to your favorite snacks, taking part in the proper dental routine (brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash twice a day) and visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning/checkup are still important for a healthy set of teeth.