We learn that sugar poses a threat to the health of our teeth at a young age. This is because sugar becomes acidic when it reacts with saliva. The acid can then erode the enamel, or outer layer, of our teeth, leaving them vulnerable to many dental dangers.
Even if you know the risk of consuming sugar, it can be difficult to kick the habit of eating sugary foods on a regular basis. Talk to your dentist about preventative dentistry methods, especially in your diet. And read on to find three tips from your dentist in Los Altos, CA to consume less sugar and protect your dental health.
How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Eliminate Easy Extra Sugar in Your Diet
To learn the best way to improve your diet, you should first get a good idea of your current eating habits. One way to do this is to keep a log of the foods and drinks you consume, marking down their sugar content as you do.
This should reveal items with a high sugar content that you can immediately cut from your diet. Examples include soft drinks, packaged baked goods, and candy.
You can also stop using table sugar. Though you may enjoy adding a spoonful of sugar to your cup of coffee or tea, this excess sugar could majorly harm your smile. Cutting these easy sugar offenders from your diet can make a big difference in protecting your dental health.
Adjust Your Recipes
When you cook for yourself, you have a great amount of control over what goes into your food. Review your recipes and consider using less sugar when preparing food, especially while baking. You can remove half or even three-quarters of the recommended sugar amount without impacting the taste of your dish in many cases.
Consider substituting sugar with alternative ingredients like vanilla or almond extract. These can enhance the flavor of your food without putting your smile at risk of cavities and other dental problems.
You can also experiment with flavors by swapping sugar with spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. Then you can expand your palate too while keeping your teeth healthy.
Prepare for Sweetness Cravings
Once you start consuming less sugar, you might find yourself craving sweetness to fill this new gap in your diet. It may feel tempting to cave into eating sugary treats again. But you can fight this urge by reaching for alternative snacks instead that do not contain sugar.
Buy snacks like dried fruit or nuts that you can eat when you crave something sweet. Acknowledging and preparing for these cravings does not admit weakness. In fact, it highlights your commitment to these healthy changes to your diet.
When you go grocery shopping, pay attention to the sugar content listed on the foods you purchase. Awareness of these ingredients can help you get into the habit of choosing healthier food items. Ask your dentist for more preventative dentistry tips that can keep your smile looking and feeling its best.