Leftover food particles can attract oral bacteria that contribute to tooth and gum decay. If you want to maintain excellent oral health, one way to go about it is to shun eating all together. Since that’s about as illogical as it gets, your dentist in Harker Heights says it’s better to know what types of snacks are less detrimental to your oral health. Continue reading to get some expert tips to help prevent any troublesome cavities!
The Big Sugar Problem
From 2009 to 2017, Americans’ consumption of sugar rose from 10 million metric tons to 12 million metric tons. It just so happens that sugar is the food of choice of oral bacteria. Thus, the increased intake has naturally translated into higher incidences of tooth decay. In fact, studies by the World Health Organization show that nearly 25% of the adult population have untreated cavities. A simple solution is to cut back on the main threat: sugar consumption.
Here are a few tasty substitutions you can make:
- Fruit – A healthy way to satisfy a sweet craving is to eat a delicious apple, orange, banana or one of the many other types of fruits. They’ll have a far less negative impact on your teeth.
- Sugar-free gum – Many times, a desire for sweets can arise after eating a meal. Consider a piece of sugar-free chewing gum instead. While providing a satisfying flavor, it can also help to remove some of the leftover debris by stimulating your natural saliva production.
- Protein – A desire for sugar can sometimes be the result of a drop in your blood glucose. One way to address this is to eat protein-rich foods like cheese, chicken, nuts or turkey.
In addition to incorporating some alternatives into your diet regimen, you should consider asking yourself, “Am I really hungry?” There may be something else causing a false sensation.
Are You Thirsty?
Sometimes, when you think you’re craving food, it’s just your body’s response to being dehydrated. So in addition to trying out healthier alternatives, don’t forget to stay hydrated. The human body is composed of 75% water; thus, when you’re thirsty, all types of weird messages can be sent to your brain to create a false sense of hunger.
So before indulging, stop and take a moment to drink a glass of water. Furthermore, to be as healthy as possible, be sure to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. That means a 200-pound person would need to consume 100 ounces to be properly hydrated.
By taking these proactive dietary measures, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and visiting your dentist on a regular basis, you can enjoy healthy and strong teeth and gums for years to come!
About the Author
Dr. Melinda Duncan earned her dental degree from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Throughout her career, she has placed an emphasis on prevention as a means of maintaining excellent oral health. Dr. Duncan recommends that patients visit semi-annually for checkups and cleanings at Market Heights Family Dentistry. She can be reached for more information through her website.