Enjoy Better Dental Health: Quick Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar

Amelia Grant By Amelia Grant, 5th Jun 2018 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Oral Care

Being a bit smarter about sugar will help improve your teeth and it will protect your waistline which is definitely something to smile about.

Enjoy Better Dental Health: Quick Tips for Cutting Down on Sugar

You probably already know eating sugar is bad for your teeth but this sweet treat can be hard to quit. However, dental problems caused by eating too much sugar are very widespread and tooth decay is still one of the most common reasons for visiting the dentist. Being a bit smarter about sugar will help improve your teeth and it will protect your waistline which is definitely something to smile about. Listed below are just a few tips to help you cut down on your sugar consumption.

1. Eat breakfast? Make smarter choices for this first meal of the day. Lots of us will grab a bowl of cereal for a fast breakfast that is simple to prepare. When you look at many cereal packets, it’s easy to assume you’re eating some kind of healthy product but look at the list of ingredients a little more closely. One of the reasons why cereal tastes so good is that often it contains high amounts of sugar. Instead, choose cereals with low sugar or no added sugar and resist the temptation to add even more of the white stuff yourself. Alternatively, think about swapping out sugar laden cereals for something else completely. Breakfast is a good chance to boost your protein intake and eggs are nearly as quick to prepare as a bowl of cereal. Other choices include oatmeal or porridge oats, fresh fruit and plain Greek yoghurt which will provide a decent amount of protein and some calcium.

2. If you do want to snack then resist the temptation to reach for cookies. Although these will give you a quick boost of energy the effects certainly won’t last that long. Instead, choose fresh fruit or veggies, or choose cheese which is great for your teeth. Other options include raw nuts which can help provide the energy you need.

3. Approach fat-free foods with caution. Fat has truly been labeled the enemy of dieters and many people will reach for fat-free versions of their favourite foods. One good example is yoghurt and surely if it’s fat-free then it has to be even better for you, right? Think again, as often fat-free yoghurts obtain much of their flavor from sugar, either in the form of refined sugar or fructose.

4. Get to know all the different names for sugar because the white stuff has many different disguises. There are numerous different names for sugar including fructose, molasses, corn syrup, sucrose, glucose and maltose. Recognizing these names will help you avoid foods that look like they should be healthy but which in fact contain high amounts of hidden sugars.

5. Choose fresh whole foods. Although it’s easy to think you’re upping your fruit or veggie quota by grabbing a smoothie or fruit or vegetable juice, it’s always far better to eat the whole fruits or vegetables. Fruit juice is a particularly good example as it tends to be a sugar bomb and what’s worse is it’s generally highly acidic. Instead of having an orange or apple juice, reach for the whole fruit. You’ll get far more fiber and goodness from the fruit and it should be far more filling, hopefully preventing you from snacking later on. Dried fruit is another good example of what should be avoided because although healthy it has a tendency to stick to teeth and is extremely high in sugar. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are especially good choices for snacks because they have a high water content that helps to wash away excess acid and food particles and they are quite fibrous which has a very slight scrubbing action on teeth.

6. Kick your coffee order into touch. Adding extra whipped cream or syrup to a coffee can make it taste great but it can add a frightening amount of sugar, not to mention empty calories. Instead, try to retrain your taste buds to enjoy the natural taste of coffee. Buy yourself a good quality Americano or espresso and learn to relish its taste and that hit of truly delicious caffeine. Alternatively, switch to drinking green tea which has been shown to be good for dental health.

7. When you’re out for the evening with friends or maybe just enjoying a drink or two at home then try to remember these drinks generally contain lots of sugar. It’s worth trying to moderate the number of alcoholic drinks you consume and always make sure you have a big glass of water at hand. Regularly swishing some water around your mouth will help remove some of the sugar and you’ll wake up with a clearer head the next day.

8.Get plenty of sleep as staying up too late can play havoc with some people’s oral health routine. This is because people who stay up late are more likely to go to bed without brushing their teeth and are also more likely to indulge in a little late-night snacking or drinking. Going to bed with dirty teeth will play havoc with your dental health especially as you produce less saliva during sleep and the drier conditions allow cavity-causing bacteria to thrive.

9. Start being savvier about when you eat sugary foods. If you want a sweet treat then enjoy it as part of a main meal rather than as an indulgent snack in between meals. This is because whenever you eat something sugary it increases the acidity levels in your mouth for up to an hour afterwards, during which time your tooth enamel is eroded away. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating something sweet doesn’t solve this problem as you will be brushing softer tooth enamel which can make things even worse. Instead, eating sugary foods as part of a main meal helps to limit the amount of time your teeth are exposed to acid.

10. Be sensible about cutting down on sugar rather than trying to completely eliminate sugar from your diet which can be very difficult to stick to especially if you are a complete addict. Instead, try to make a few simple changes like perhaps quitting sugar in your coffee or choosing a different snack and gradually incorporate some more, healthier lifestyle habits.
Last but definitely not least, don’t forget to visit your dentist regularly so they can check your teeth and gums for any signs of tooth decay or other dental diseases. Hopefully with less sugar in your diet, you should enjoy all the benefits of having a healthier mouth.


Dental Problems, Teeth

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author avatar Amelia Grant
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