(NC) A healthy diet is just as important for your teeth and gums as it is for the rest of your body. Sugar-rich foods and drinks increase your risk of tooth decay (cavities), obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. That’s why dental hygienists stress the importance of cutting back on sugar to protect both oral and overall health.
Not sure where to start? Here are six tips to conquer your sugar cravings:
- Keep a full pitcher of water in your refrigerator and drink water with every meal.
- Flavour your water with fresh fruit or herbs.
- Eat a variety of crunchy vegetables and fruits daily.
- Buy cereals and drinks that are low in sugar or sugar-free.
- Use unsweetened applesauce instead of sugar when baking.
- Choose chewing gum and mints sweetened with xylitol, a natural sugar-substitute that also neutralizes acids in your mouth to prevent tooth decay.
Don’t forget to combine these sugar-reduction efforts with twice-daily toothbrushing (two minutes each time with fluoride toothpaste), daily cleaning between your teeth and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash. Speak to essential primary health care professionals such as your dental hygienist for more tips.
By being mindful of the amount of sugar you consume daily and developing good oral hygiene habits, you can keep cavities at bay and enjoy better overall health.
Find more information at dentalhygienecanada.ca/sugar.