Sugar is the natural enemy of your teeth. As delicious as sugary, sweet foods can be, they are simply not good for you in any way, and are especially harmful to oral health. The essential problem is that the bacteria that create plaque live off of sugar. The more sugar you consume, the more plaque will form on your teeth, resulting in more of the enamel that protect your teeth being worn off.
While brushing your teeth and flossing are essential to protecting your teeth, they are not enough on their own. Limiting sugar intake is also vital. Sadly, many people today are virtually addicted to sugar. If you are one of these folks — or if you simply need to cut back a little — here are five tips for consuming less sugar.
- Avoid junk foods. Many of the most popular junk foods, such as donuts, processed snack cakes, and candy, are simply overflowing with sugar. The thing about junk foods is that they don’t provide your body with any beneficial nutrients to offset their downsides. Consuming junk foods should not be a regular habit.
- Skip the soda. Soda pop has a lot of sugar. What’s worse is that when consuming sugar in a liquid form, it is very easy to let your intake get out of control. Either stop consuming soda or opt for a diet soda option.
- Choose smaller servings. You aren’t going to realistically eliminate all sugar from your diet — nor should you try. A more reasonable approach is to cut back when you do eat something that’s sweet. Add less sugar to your coffee. Eat smaller portions of dessert. Use recipes with less sugar when cooking.
- Check the ingredient label. You might be surprised by some of the foods that contain sugar. Manufacturers know how good sugar tastes, and will often add sugar needlessly to products. Look over ingredient labels when shopping to keep extra sugar from sneaking into your diet.
- Be disciplined. Ultimately, the secret to consuming less sugar lies not with any specific dietary guideline, but with your ability to control yourself. If you really want to protect your teeth from the ill effects of sugar, you are going to have to exert some self-discipline. Stand strong and remember that consuming less sugar will make your life better, not worse.
You need to take care of your teeth. Dealing with cavities and other dental health problems can be unpleasant and painful (besides the money you may have to spend to correct them). Curbing your reliance on sugar is one of the biggest keys to keeping your teeth healthy — so start reducing your sugar intake today.