From a young age, we are cautioned against eating too much sugar, but you might not know the exact reason why. Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with your saliva. This acid can then eat away at your teeth, leaving permanent structural dental damage.
But eating less sugar can be difficult to do without careful planning. Your dentist can help you balance nutrition and give you effective preventative dental care. Read on to find three ways that you can more easily reduce the amount of sugar you consume and therefore protect your smile.
Tips for Reducing Your Sugar Intake
Find and Eliminate High-Sugar Foods
When you want to reduce sugar in your diet, you should first get a good idea of how much sugar you already consume on a regular basis. You can keep a food log, documenting which foods you eat along with their sugar content, to establish this baseline.
You can likely spot high-sugar content foods right away, like sodas and candy, and know that you should steer clear of these substances to keep your teeth healthy. It can be tempting to add spoonfuls of sugar to your cup of tea or coffee too. But this added sugar can put your oral health at risk, so avoid this habit when possible.
Adjust Your Recipes
You have a great deal of control over what goes into your food when you cook for yourself. So if you want to consume less sugar, consider adjusting your recipes, especially when baking, to accomplish this goal. You can remove half or even three-fourths of the recommended amount of sugar in a recipe without altering its taste in many cases.
This could also be a good opportunity to experiment with flavors. You can swap out sugar with vanilla or almond extract to enhance the taste of your dish without putting your dental health in danger. Try spices like cinnamon or nutmeg as well to mix up flavors without increasing the chances of forming cavities and other dental problems.
Prepare for Sweetness Cravings
When you start to consume less sugar, your body may begin to crave sweetness in its absence. This can make it very tempting to reach for a sugary treat and feel satisfied. When you know this feeling is coming, you can prepare for it.
Consider buying healthy snacks that you can reach for when you crave something sweet. Dried fruit and nuts are great options that will not damage your tooth enamel like sugar can. Keeping these items on hand shows commitment to this change in your diet, not an admission of defeat.
You can find more preventative dentistry tips when you visit your dentist. Continue good oral hygiene and attend routine check-ups to keep your smile looking and feeling its best. If you notice changes in your oral health, do not hesitate to give your dentist a call. Contact an expert family dentist in McLeansville, NC by phone at 336.506.6545.