We all love a little sugar now and then, especially this time of the year! But it’s important to know the cost we pay for eating sugary foods and drinks. First off, the sugar we eat is purely a simple carb that doesn’t offer anything in the way of nutrients. It also slowly breaks down the protective enamel on your teeth causing tooth decay

If you are one of the many that reach for sugar throughout the day, you may find that it does provide a quick energy boost. But you’ll also notice that it leaves you wanting more and sometimes sluggish later in the day.

What Causes the Cravings?

Carbs release serotonin in the brain when we eat those sweets. The endorphins provide a natural high and sugary sweets are just so tasty. And it’s okay to indulge from time to time. The problem arises when we go overboard.

With the holiday season just around the corner, here are some helpful tips for controlling your sugar cravings.

Ways to Calm Your Sweet Tooth & Fight Sugar Cravings

  • Treat yourself – in moderation. Just take a small portion of the sweet stuff and keep it under 150 calories of sweets.
  • Mix it up! Have a healthy treat with a little sweetness. Strawberries dipped in a touch of chocolate could be enough to satisfy your sweet tooth.
  • Chew a stick of gum. Choose sugar-free gum to reduce your sugar cravings.
  • Have a little fruit at the ready. These healthy snacks contain natural sugar, and they could be enough to curb your cravings
  • Walk it off! A nice walk around the block or through the park could get the craving off your mind.
  • Make a different drink choice. Leave the soft drinks alone and opt for sparkling water.
  • Be prepared. Always have healthy snacks and your prepared lunch with you so you’re never searching for a snack at the last minute.
  • Hydrate! Drinking water helps with weight loss and digestive health. It also helps to rinse your teeth. When you choose tap water, you’re also getting the fluoride you need to strengthen tooth enamel.
  • Eat a good meal. Make sure you’re eating protein-rich foods to keep your hunger at bay.
  • Rid your home of temptations. Throw out the junk foods and replace them with healthy options.
  • Try sugar-fasting. Make a commitment to abstain from sugar for at least a day. Next, try a few days. And continue to lengthen the amount of time you fast from sugar. You may find that each sugar-fast becomes easier as time goes on!
  • Caring for Your Teeth after Partaking in Sweets

    If you decide to take a little taste of the sweets, follow these tips to take care of your teeth right after:

    • Rinse your mouth with water and an elevated pH rinse
    • Wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth
    • Chew xylitol gum to avoid bacteria

    While it may be hard, it’s possible to curb the sugar habit. Follow the tips above and only eat sweet foods and drinks in moderation.

    To keep your smile bright and healthy, keep seeing your dentist regularly. Schedule your appointment with Dr. Stephen A. Coats, DDS today. He and his Long Beach dental team are passionate about patients and their oral health. We are ready to help you with exams, cleanings, and more advanced procedures.

    Click here to request an appointment time, or call us at 562-434-6414.