Tips for Cutting Down on Holiday Sugar Consumption
It's that time of year again - the time when friends and family gather, when gifts are exchanged and a time when there's no shortage of delicious treats to consume. Yes, it's the holidays, and while we all have a sweet tooth, it's this time of year that people can really do some damage to their teeth if they don't watch how much sugar they consume.
You likely already know that sugar can be detrimental to your teeth. That's because bacteria in the mouth actually feed on sugar, breaking it down into acids that destroy tooth enamel. Specifically, sugar has the potential to really wreak havoc when lodged in between your teeth, as that area is often difficult to brush.
So how can you prevent sugar from destroying your teeth during the incredibly susceptible time that is the holiday season? Here's a look at some pointers:
Brush and Rinse
If consumed in moderation, you shouldn't run into too many difficulties. With that being said, however, it's always advised that you brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash after consuming anything that is high in sugar. Brushing helps clean the teeth and rinsing with mouthwash helps destroy bacteria present inside the mouth, thereby minimizing potential damage.
The only true way to avoid the effects of sugar is to avoid consuming it altogether. So when you're preparing any treats this holiday season, consider using a sugar substitute. There are a bevy of artificial sweeteners available today - we'd simply suggest doing a bit of homework before making your selection to ensure that your substitute is truly a healthy alternative.
Why not go healthy with your treats this year? For instance, instead of candy, opt for fruit, a natural sweet. Raisins are another food that's naturally sweet. Other foods that are proven to be good for teeth include cheese (neutralizes plaque acid), crunchy foods like apples and carrots (help dislodge plaque) and even cranberries, a food that helps prevent plaque from sticking to the teeth.
Aside from holiday treats, there's also holiday drinks. Hence, it's not uncommon to be offered soda or some other type of high-in-sugar beverage at gatherings. If you can help it, opt for a diet soda instead of the real thing. Unlike regular sodas, diet sodas either contain low amounts of sugar or no sugar at all. If you can't settle for anything other than the real thing, consider drinking the soda through a straw. This helps direct the flow of liquid to the back of your mouth and into your throat, rather than disperse it all throughout your mouth.
Go Cold Turkey
As we previously mentioned, another option for cutting down on your sugar consumption is to simply eliminate it from your diet (and anything you might make for a party). It can be a difficult thing to do, but it's possible and your dentist will be happy that you did in the long run.
For more information on how to limit your sugar intake, whether it be this holiday season or any other time of the year, contact our offices at (904) 645-3366 or visit us online at www.cavendental.com today. Like we said, sugar is OK to consume in moderation, as long as you're taking care of your mouth.
December 10, 2014 | by Richard Caven