Since childhood, you’ve probably been hearing that consuming too much sugar can contribute to cavity development, but why is that so? It turns out that sugar attracts oral bacteria that can quickly accumulate, releasing corrosive acids. Now that you know why too much sugar can be a bad thing, what can you do to curb your appetite to support better oral health. As you continue reading, a dentist in Clintonville provides some helpful tips!
Track Your Sugar Intake
To get a better idea of how much sugar you’re consuming, keep a daily journal of your food and beverage intake. Also, read the labels of the products you consume so you’ll know how much sugar is in each serving. Review your journal at the end of each week and use the data to determine what changes need to be made.
Gradually Back Off the Sugar
Suddenly cutting sugar out of your diet can cause withdrawal symptoms. The effects can be similar to caffeine withdrawal, as in headaches and, potentially, some irritability. Instead of stopping “cold turkey,” you may want to start by cutting back 50% one week and then progress further until you’ve substantially reduced your intake. The goal is to make a long-term commitment to your oral health.
Eat More Protein
When sugar is consumed by itself, it causes a spike in your blood sugar levels. This results in a momentary boost in energy, followed by a crash. After the dip in energy, you may find yourself craving another dose of sugar. By incorporating more protein (eggs, meat, chicken, etc.) into your diet, you can lessen the impact that sugar has on your body and curb your cravings.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
If you have a candy craving throughout the day, you can satisfy it by chewing sugar-free gum. Most products on the market contain xylitol or sorbitol, which are sugar alcohols that metabolize slowly. Thus, they don’t promote bacteria growth like real sugar.
Another benefit of chewing sugar-free gum is that it stimulates saliva production. This helps to further control the growth of oral bacteria and rid your mouth of lingering debris from a previous meal.
Treat Yourself on Occasion
There’s nothing wrong with indulging in one of your favorite sugary delights from time to time. You can use it as a reward for your compliance to a healthier lifestyle. As long as it doesn’t turn into a habit and you’re sure to brush and floss afterwards, you’ll be just fine.
By taking the necessary steps to control your sugar cravings, practicing consistent dental hygiene and maintaining regular visits to your local dentist, you can experience the absolute best in oral health!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. For nearly 20 years, he has been providing kind, compassionate and competent care. Throughout his career, Dr. Buck has remained quite active, maintaining affiliation with Spear Education, as a student and faculty member. He offers preventive care and willingly shares his expertise to promote excellent oral health at Creative Smiles, and he can be reached for more information or to schedule a visit through his website.