While most people today understand that sugar is bad for your teeth and your overall health, that doesn’t mean that we are good at avoiding it. Sugar is everywhere, from desserts to soda. Also, sugar can be addictive, making it hard to resist your cravings.
Get a quick refresher on why sugar is bad for your teeth, and then learn some tips to reduce your sugar cravings.
Why Sugar Is Bad for Your Teeth
Before getting into how to reduce your sugar cravings, take a minute to understand why it is bad for your oral health. Consider that your mouth has good and bad bacteria. When you eat sugar, the harmful bacteria produce acid. This acid removes some of the minerals from the enamel on your teeth. That enamel is the protective, shiny outer layer of your teeth. Your saliva constantly works to add the minerals back in.
But this becomes harder for the saliva to do if you consume more sugar. The result is that over time when you eat a lot of sugar, your enamel will slowly weaken. This can lead to cavities and tooth decay, along with other oral health issues.
With that in mind, how do you reduce your sugar cravings?
Don’t Confuse Cravings and Hunger
When you have sugar cravings, you don’t need to eat the sugar. You may want to eat something, and sugar came to mind. The best way to tell is to eat a healthy meal that is filling. More than likely, your sugar craving will disappear by the time you are done.
Eat Balanced Meals
You can also try to fend off that feeling of hunger that you may mistake for a craving. The best method is to opt for a healthy, balanced meal for all of your meals. A combination of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats and carbs will keep you full. It will also make your blood sugar more stable, which can reduce cravings.
Consider Sour or Fermented Foods Instead
If you have a sugar craving, consider having something a bit sour or bitter instead. This can help counteract your cravings for sweetness. One simple example is water infused with lemon. Fermented foods provide that sourness, but they also deliver probiotics. Those probiotics can fight the bacteria in your body that thrives on sugar. That bacteria is a key player in your cravings, so fighting it should reduce your cravings.
Steam Out the Craving
If you have a sugar craving, considering taking a hot shower and standing under the water for 5-10 minutes or more. You should begin to feel a growing sense of relaxation. This relaxation will have likely eliminated your craving.
Another method is to go for a quick walk or jog if you get a sugar craving. You can also replace this with another exercise. Not only will you distract yourself, but you will create endorphins via the exercise. These “feel good” chemicals can eliminate your craving.
For more tips on dental health, visit our website or contact our general dentist in Chicago today!