Your dentist has likely cautioned you against consuming too much sugar to protect your dental health. It is true that sugar can put you at a greater risk for cavities and other dental problems.
Sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with your saliva. This acid can then eat away at your dental structure. This creates weak spots where bacteria can penetrate and form tooth decay. A dentist can treat a cavity within one dentist appointment, but ideally, you should protect your natural dental structure for as long as you can.
Reducing sugar in your diet can be easier said than done though, even when you understand the risks it can pose for your oral health. But your dentist can help you with this lifestyle change. Read on to find advice from your dentist that can help you cut back on sugar and therefore prevent dental damage.
How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake and Protect Your Teeth
Pay Attention to Ingredients in Your Diet
The first step in making strides to cut back on the amount of sugar you eat is learning how much sugar already exists in your diet. Look at the ingredients in the foods and drinks you consume to learn how much sugar they contain. You might want to keep a food diary or log to better realize the extent of the sugar you eat.
Then you can also see easy cuts to make in your diet to reduce your sugar intake. For instance, if you use table sugar in your cup of coffee, this is a simple habit to remove. You can also see items in your food log that have high amounts of added sugar, like soft drinks and candy, and know to steer clear of them.
Adjust Your Recipes
When you cook or bake for yourself, you have a great level of control over the ingredients you add, including sugar. So this provides a good opportunity to reduce the sugar in your diet.
You can cut a third or more of the recommended amount of sugar in most recipes without affecting the taste or final result of the dish. You may also want to use this chance to experiment with alternative flavors. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices can make good substitutes for sugar, enhancing the taste without posing a risk to your oral health.
Prepare for Sugar Cravings
As you start to consume less sugar, you might start to crave sweetness and sugary treats as a result. This is normal. And you can prepare accordingly to avoid caving into these urges to indulge in sugary snacks.
Pick up sugar-free snacks in the grocery store that you can reach for when you want something sweet. An apple or nuts can make for good snack options that will not hurt your teeth.
Making these preparations because you want a sweet treat does not admit failure. In fact, it displays a commitment to your oral health. You will know what to do in the event of these cravings. Learn more about preventative dental care by talking to your dentist today.