We learn from a young age that sweet treats like candy can hurt our teeth. But you might not know that this is because sugar becomes acidic when it reacts to your saliva. And the acid can then eat away at your teeth, causing irreversible dental damage.
This will put you at a high risk of cavities and other dental problems too. But you can reduce your chances of forming these dental issues by limiting the amount of sugar that you consume.
Making these dietary changes is easier said than done though. But with proper preparation, you can cut back on sugar and preserve your smile. Read on to find advice from your dentist in Washington, DC for consuming less sugar and therefore better protecting your dental health.
Tips to Reduce Sugar in Your Diet
Pay Attention to Your Food’s Ingredients
The first step in cutting back on the amount of sugar you consume is to recognize how much sugar is already in your diet. You may want to keep a food diary to keep track of the sugar content in the foods you eat.
This practice can help you spot easy ways to cut back on sugar. For instance, you can see items with high levels of sugar, like sodas and candies, and know that you should avoid these foods and drinks when you can.
You can also note your usage of table sugar and begin to steer clear of adding this extra sugar to your coffee, tea, or other beverages and foods. Paying attention to your eating habits will help you make changes that will better protect your dental health. You can take this awareness with you when you go grocery shopping so that you can choose foods and drinks that do not contain added sugar.
Adjust Your Recipes
You possess a great amount of control over what goes into your food when you cook for yourself. So when you prepare meals, especially when you bake, you can adjust your recipe to reduce the food’s sugar content. In many cases, you can subtract a third or even half of the recommended amount of sugar in a recipe without affecting the dish’s taste.
You can also experiment with substituting sugar for other ingredients to enhance a dish’s flavor. Vanilla and almond extract can add a wonderful taste to your dish without risking dental danger from added sugar. You may also try spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to create a unique flavor.
Prepare for Sweetness Cravings
When you start to consume less sugar, you may find yourself craving sweetness as a result. This is a normal phenomenon, and to avoid caving into this craving, you should prepare ahead of time. Buy snacks that do not contain added sugar that you can reach for when you want something sweet.
Examples include fruits and nuts, but you can ask your dentist for other healthy snack options during your next dental appointment. Making these preparations is not a sign of weakness. It instead shows commitment to this change that will improve your oral health.