Sugar is a natural part of the food and drinks we consume. However, excessive sugar consumption can increase the risk of developing cavities and other serious oral health problems. Here are 5 dentist tips for reducing sugar consumption:
1. Watch what you are consuming
Being aware of how much sugar you consume is the most important step in reducing sugar intake. It can be as simple as making a conscious effort to lessen the quantity of sugar you use when you are cooking or baking, and not having that extra teaspoon of sugar in your cereal or coffee. You may also consider reducing sugar consumption by cutting down on sugary drinks – because they are a liquid, drinks such as soda, juice and energy drinks spread high volumes of sugar all over your teeth. Even if it is just the occasional switch – the less sugar the better for you and your teeth.
2. Read the label
Nutritional labels are the most reliable way to determining just how much sugar is in the food and drinks we consume. To use the label effectively, look at the amount of sugar per 100 grams – rather than the amount of sugar per serving value. Obviously, the less sugar the better. Try to aim for food and drinks that contain 5g or less (per 100g). You should also be aware of hidden sugars and the many different terminologies that may be used for sugar – especially fructose, maltose & dextrose. If the product you are consuming has over 15g of sugar per 100g, it would be wise to look for alternatives.
3. Ease into it
At first, the task of reducing sugar intake in your day to day life may be daunting – especially if you find out you consume a lot of it. The easiest way to get started is by making one change at a time rather than forcing a massive lifestyle change. It could be as simple as starting the day off right with a nutritious breakfast to prevent those midmorning sugar cravings. More ways to combat the sugar crave is to avoid your sugar triggers, meal plan and eat regularly, have a steady sleep pattern, stay active and replace any high sugar products with better alternatives.
4. Embrace the savoury
Perhaps the most effective way of reducing sugar consumption but at the same time maintaining high morale about eating is to embrace the less sugary, savoury foods that you love. Try to experiment with low-sugar recipes and try new foods that are not high in sugar. Some perfect examples are veggies and hummus, Greek yogurt with berries, smoothies with lots and lots of protein and homemade trail mix with the things you love.
5. Think about the benefits
Reducing sugar intake in your daily life presents so many health benefits – and not just for your teeth. It improves your mental and physical health, lowers risk of diabetes, and helps with weight loss – just to name a few. Reducing sugar consumption will mean that your teeth are less likely to decay – when left on teeth, plaque caused by sugar can lead to cavities. Meaning, the less sugar the better the dentist visit.
For more information on dental hygiene or to book your next examination, get in touch with the team at Carine Glades Dental Care today.