Candy, cookies, sodas, and other sweet treats are tasty as well as highly addictive since they release opioids and dopamine that make our bodies interpret it as a reward. Unfortunately, these foods can do a lot of damage to your overall and oral health. Cutting back on you’re the amount of sugar you eat is good for your teeth, but how can you fight the cravings? To help you battle your addiction to sweets and improve the health of your smile, here are four helpful tips to help you overcome your sugar cravings.
Tip #1: Practice Restraint
When someone places a plate of cookies in front of you, it can be hard to say no to them. Even so, learn to practice restraint by doing the following:
- Setting guidelines – Set guidelines rather than rules. For example, aim to eat more tooth-healthy fruits and vegetables and less ice cream rather than cutting sugar out cold turkey.
- Use the 80/20 rule – Aim to make 80% or more foods that are good for your teeth like fresh fruits and vegetables, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, and lean meats. The 20% shouldn’t be mindless eating, but it won’t ruin your progress to have some sweets on occasion.
- Reduce energy-dense food cues – Energy density refers to the number of calories in a specific amount of food. Sweet treats tend to have a high energy density. Reduce the amount of these foods you have around so you’re less likely to eat them.
Tip #2: Know Your Eating Habits
Acknowledge the fact that you have an issue with sweets. This will make it easier for you to keep track of your eating habits. Consider keeping a food journal so you can get an idea of how much sugar you usually eat by writing down everything you consume for a week. Use online resources to help you determine how much sugar there is in each food item so you can see where improvements can be made.
Tip #3: Use Sugar Alternatives
Artificial sweeteners should be consumed in moderation, but they’re a great way to cut back on your sugar intake. Use sugar alternatives like stevia in beverages like coffee and tea, drink sugar-free sodas, and replace regular candy and gum with sugarless varieties. If you don’t like the taste of artificial sweeteners, try to work toward using less sugar over time.
Tip #4: Treat Yourself on Occasion
Though lessening the amount of sugar in your diet will make it easier for you to maintain good health and a bright smile, that doesn’t mean you have to completely remove it from your diet. Make sure to treat yourself to a cookie or a bowl of ice cream on occasion.
With the above tips, you’ll be able to cut back on how much sugar you consume to maintain better oral and overall health. Your body will be better off, and your smile will thank you for it!
About the Author
Donald Marks Family Dentistry offers patients effective, efficient dental health services so they can learn the best way to maintain healthy smiles. If your struggles with sugar consumption are getting in the way of achieving the smile you’ve always wanted, they can provide tips and advice to get you on the right track, For more information on how to eat less sugar or to make an appointment with Donald Marks Family Dentistry, call (814) 234-0329 or visit their website.