July 20, 2022
The human mouth contains countless bacteria, many of which are good — and some of which are harmful. When you eat sugar, harmful bacteria feed on it and produce acid that can damage your tooth enamel, eventually leading to decay. If you find that you are eating too much sugar, it would certainly be worth your time and effort to cut back on how much you consume. Here are some tips to help you reduce your cravings and protect your oral health in Southlake:
Replace Refined Sugars with Healthier Options
Not all types of sugar are equally harmful. For example, an apple contains a lot of sugar, but its texture, and the fact that it contains a lot of water, make it a safe and even beneficial snack for your teeth. Something like a cupcake or a soda, on the other hand, contains loads of refined sugar and offers few to no nutritional benefits. Try replacing candy and sweet drinks with healthier options, such fruit and water.
Eat Balanced Meals
Often, it is easy to confuse sugar cravings with general hunger. If you find that you often desire sweet snacks between or after meals, it may be because you aren’t eating enough nutritious foods. Consuming a balanced combination of protein, healthy fats, and whole grains can leave you feeling satisfied and help you cut back on your urge to indulge in sugary treats.
Eat Bitter Foods
Strange as it may sound, there is actually research to indicate that bitter foods can reduce sugar cravings. In fact, eating things like arugula, dandelion greens, and other bitter options can shut down receptors in the brain that encourage the consumption of sugar. Eating sour fruits, like grapefruit or lemon, might also help — but be mindful that they can be very acidic and harmful to teeth, so they should be used in moderation only.
Dehydration may spark sugar cravings in some people. Try drinking a big glass of water before you reach for a candy bar or slice of pie. As an added bonus, the water can help to clean out your mouth and keep your smile healthy.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on the hormones that regulate hunger and satiety; individuals who are chronically tired tend to reach more for carb-laden foods, including sugars. If stress or a sleep disorder is preventing you from getting the rest you need, it would be wise to consult with a professional who can help you address the problem.
There is nothing wrong with indulging in a sugary treat once in a while — but when sugar consumption goes too far, you may need to use the above tips to reduce your cravings and protect your oral health.
Meet Dr. Thomas
Dr. Preetha Thomas is a holistic dentist in Southlake who focuses on providing treatment and guidance that helps patients enjoy improved oral and overall health. If you would like to speak with her about how you can care for your smile, contact Enclave Dental at 817-912-1218.
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