Sweet Tooth? 10 Dental-Friendly Ways To Curb The Cravings
Everyone loves a sweet treat once in a while – right? But when the sugar cravings start to get out of control, you may start to notice your health (particularly your dental health) begins to decline. That’s why today, our dentist in Berwick is sharing ten clever ways you can avoid and cut down your sugar cravings.
How sugar affects your teeth
It’s no secret that sugar isn’t great for your dental health. But why?
Sugar encourages bacteria growth because it acts as an energy source. Once the bacteria consume the sugar, it produces acid that damages the enamel on your teeth. If enamel is constantly being worn down, this can leave your teeth vulnerable to cavities.
Curbing the craving in 10 steps
#1: Eat a good breakfast
It’s true – breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The kind of breakfast you eat will help determine how your body reacts to sugar for the rest of the day. A breakfast that is high in fibre, has some protein and is low-carb will help to keep your blood sugar levels at bay so you don’t crave a morning tea snack.
#2: Take a walk and get fresh air
Sometimes, sugar cravings can manifest purely from boredom or anxiety. This is why going for a walk as soon as your craving hits can be so effective at nullifying the feeling – it gives you something to do. Fresh air can help you feel calmer and more relaxed. After fifteen to twenty minutes outside, you’ll find you don’t have the urge to eat that doughnut anymore.
#3: Avoid eating high-carb foods
Research shows that foods that are high-glycaemic or high-carb (such as white flour and potatoes) are more likely to trigger a craving for sugar or carbs. Instead, choose low-glycaemic and low-carb foods, like nuts and eggs. High-fibre foods like brown rice and bananas will also help to stabilise your blood sugar levels and keep you fuller for longer.
#4: Eat regular meals
Have you ever been so hungry that you reach for the fattiest, most sugary thing you can grab? This is a surprisingly common way many of us deal with intense hunger. Eating healthy meals at regular intervals (every three to five hours) is the best way to ensure you don’t go into an eat-all craze.
#5: Keep fruit and veggies close by
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but it also keeps the sugar cravings away! Fruits and veggies provide a natural source of sweetness that will substitute your craving for refined sugars. This is what makes them great snacks to have throughout the day. Plus, they are vitamin and nutrient-rich!
#6: Stay hydrated
Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger. Instead of a handful of lollies, what your body really might need is just a simple glass of water or unsweetened tea.
#7: Use ‘sweet’ spices
Trick your tastebuds into believing you are eating something sweet by adding spices that are associated with sweetness into your meals. Sprinkling a little cinnamon on your porridge in the morning, for example, can help keep your craving under control.
#8: Chew gum
Sugar-free gum will help to put a fresh taste in your mouth, which is sometimes all you need when you have the itch to eat sugar. It can also help to neutralise the acids that are released by the bacteria in your mouth.
#9: Find ways to reduce your stress
A build-up of stress causes a release of the hormone cortisol. In many situations, this can be a good thing, however if you are continually stressed out, the release of cortisol can increase your blood sugar and trigger a sugar craving. Therefore, de-stressing more often is going to help your mental and dental health.
#10: Give in every once in a while
At the end of the day, consuming sugar in small portions is not the end of the world. Rewarding yourself with a small bar of your favourite chocolate every once in a while is totally fine – as long as you stick to small portion sizes or a low-calorie threshold.
Book your next check-up with a dentist in Berwick
Your dental health is something that needs to be checked on by a professional at least twice a year. At Eden Rise Dental, our dental services include bi-yearly check-ups, as well as specialised dentistry (including braces and root canal). Our dentist in Berwick is dedicated to giving you the smile you deserve!
To book an appointment with our dentist in Berwick, please give us a call on (03) 9702 6111.