Excess indulgence in sweet treats can be hazardous for your oral health (in addition to your waistline) and create the need for more visits to your dentist, but if you have a sweet tooth that just won’t quit, you can choose healthier alternatives. Distraction strategies can also help, as well as identifying the factors underlying your sugar cravings.
To protect your oral and overall health, choose wisely when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth.
How Sugar Harms Your Teeth
Sugar is dangerous for your teeth because it is an ideal nutrition source for the oral bacteria that cause issues like cavities and gum disease. When the bacteria digest those sugars, they create highly acidic waste products that damage your enamel, causing tooth decay. If you develop a cavity, you will need to see your dentist to have a filling placed.
While patients should take care to limit their intake of all sweet treats, sticky substances and hard candies are particularly problematic because the sugar stays in the mouth longer, giving oral bacteria more opportunity to fuel up on it.
Alternatives To Sweet Treats
So, what should you do if you have a weakness for sweets but want to protect your healthy smile? Fortunately, you can often satisfy a sugar craving with a healthier alternative. Consider swapping out your cookie for some fruit.
Rather than indulging in ice cream, try a homemade frozen treat, like banana ice cream, homemade 100 percent fruit popsicles, frozen grapes or fruit and veggie smoothies. Choose dried dates instead of candy. Dark chocolate can also be a healthier, smile-friendly alternative.
You may also be able to distract yourself from cravings, too. Try chewing sugar-free gum, drinking water or brushing your teeth to see if the need for sweets goes away. If you have persistent sugar cravings, you may also want to take a look at your diet. It could mean that you’re not getting enough protein or healthy fat or that you’re consuming too much sodium.
Do you want more ideas for sweet treats that won’t wreck your smile? Call our team at Fresh Leaf Dental and speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members.