Every time you eat, your teeth and gums are bombarded with saliva and a host of particles. If the foods are higher in sugar, then it leaves you more susceptible to tooth decay. Because it’s not a viable option to just stop eating, the next best thing is to find healthier alternatives to some of the more detrimental items you may be consuming. As you continue reading, a dentist in Dublin provides expert pointers on some snack options that will help to fortify your oral health!
The Sugar Problem
Statistics show that in an eight-year span (from 2009 to 2017), Americans’ sugar intake increased from 10 million to 12 million metric tons. This paints a disturbing picture for the collective oral health of the nation, since sugar is the primary sustenance for oral bacteria. The latter are the main contributors to cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. A simple solution is to cut back on sugar and processed foods.
If you have a “sweet tooth,” it may be pretty difficult to just give up your favorite treats. The process can be less taxing, though, if you have some healthier options that either satisfy your sweet craving or help to prevent it. Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Eat more fruit – Fruits contain natural sugars that are less detrimental to your teeth and gums than processed foods.
- Increase your protein intake – A sugar craving is sometimes the result of your blood glucose (sugar) being low. By consuming more protein (fish, turkey, nuts, cheese, etc.), you can prevent this from happening.
- Look for sugar-free products – There are a host of sugar-free items on the market now that are satisfying yet healthier. Look for products that contain alternative sweeteners like xylitol or stevia.
- Eat more vegetables – Many vegetables contain healthy sugars that help to satiate a sweet craving while also providing a bounty of nutrients. Consider options like carrots, sweet potatoes and corn.
No Matter What You Eat, Do This
Even if you’re making the absolute best food choices, it’s still vital that you perform consistent and effective oral hygiene. By brushing and flossing a minimum of two times a day, you can remove any of the lingering debris from the food you eat. This will help to prevent the development of plaque that could lead to cavities and other oral health issues.
Additionally, be sure to work with your #1 ally: your local dentist. By visiting on a regular basis for checkups, you can rest assured that your teeth and gums will be healthy and strong for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. Throughout his career, he has placed an emphasis on prevention. That’s because he knows how critical it is in helping his patients enjoy the best in dental health and avoiding the need for complex procedures. Dr. Buck provides semi-annual checkups and cleanings at Distinctive Smiles, and he can be reached for more information through his website.