The holidays are over and if you’re like most of the world you probably indulged in a few too many sweets. It’s not really a secret that sugar isn’t good for your teeth. While you can enjoy it in moderation, continuous or prolonged exposure to sugar isn’t good for your overall health and it can cause problems in your mouth such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.
One of the downsides of sugar is how great it tastes and the addictive nature of foods that contain high amounts of it. Eating sweet foods can make your body crave more and more of them. Because of this it can be extremely hard to stop eating them.
If you’re looking for ways to help reduce your overall intake, we’ve got some helpful tips:
1. Drink A Glass of Water – Water is great for your body in all kinds of ways. It’s also said that sometimes dehydration is mistaken for cravings. Enjoying a big glass of water before diving into the candy dish might just save you.
2. Reach for Fruit Instead – While some fruits have high acidity levels too there are others that have lower levels. Fruit also has an added benefit of providing nutrition that your body needs. Enjoying fruit in place of sugar helps curb that craving for a sweet treat while also helping nourish your body.
3. Eat More Healthy Foods – Veggies and proteins are great to add to your diet any way, and they have the added benefit of keeping you full for longer stretches of the day. If you tend to snack a lot at work take a bag of baby carrots or small tomatoes that you can enjoy instead.
4. Chew Gum – Gum is a great way to keep your mouth busy and the saliva generated by chewing is good for your mouth. Bonus points if you opt for sugar-free gum (obviously) or gum that is sweetened with xylitol!
5. Walk Away – Often times the urge for snacking and the sugary foods comes when we’re bored or in close proximity to them. If you find yourself being tempted by the candy dish at the front desk of your office or the party you’re at, just walk away.
Taking Care of Your Teeth After Eating Sugar
Of course, sugar is difficult to avoid entirely and it can be fine if enjoyed in moderation. If you do find yourself having a treat or two then here are some of our recommendations on how to help protect your teeth.
1. Eat or Drink It All at Once – Research shows that sipping on or eating sugar over a prolonged period of time is worse for your teeth as it causes multiple acid attacks to the enamel. If you opt for a sugary drink or food enjoy consume it all at once instead.
2. Rinse with Water – After you’ve enjoyed your treat rinse your mouth out with water. This will help clean away the acid and sugar from them before you can get to the bathroom to brush your teeth.
3. Brush Your Teeth – It’s best to wait roughly 1 hour after enjoying your sugary item to brush your teeth. Sooner than that might cause additional damage to the enamel.
4. Visit your Dentist – Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and cleanings play an integral role in maintaining good oral health. Don’t forget to talk to them about any changes or problems that you might have noticed since your last visit.
We understand the struggle. There are some incredibly talented bakers at our office who treat us from time to time. The key is moderations and understanding how to mitigate the impact of sugar on your oral health. Never hesitate to ask us questions at your next dental visit, and if you have any concerns in between just give us a call.