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Archive for December 2016

sugar and dentist

Sugar! A Love-Hate Relationship with your Teeth

It is well known that sugar is bad for your dental health. When you consume sugar, the bacteria in your mouth can use it as a source of energy to form plaque, which can increase in thickness and size. The sugar can also be utilized by the bacteria to adhere to the surface of your teeth, making it difficult for your saliva to wash it away.

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

It is also popular knowledge that we consume a lot of sugar. It provides our brain with the energy it needs to be healthy and functional. However, even too much a good thing can be bad. If we consume too much sugar, we are exposing ourselves to a wide range of health issues, including dental problems.

Tips for Reducing Your Sugar Intake

There is a strong link between excessive sugar consumption and poor oral health. Reducing the amount of sugar you consume and practicing an effective oral hygiene routine can limit the damage sugar can have on your teeth. Here are some ways you can decrease your sugar intake:

1. Read Food Labels

Take the time to read the labels of the foods you buy. Sugar is often added to prepackaged foods that don’t have a sweet taste, such as tomato sauces, salad dressings, crackers, and condiments. You should be aware that sweeteners can also include molasses, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dried cane syrup and that food can contain more than one type of sweetener.

2. Set a Daily Sugar Intake Limit

Once you are conscious of the amount of sugar that is in the foods and drinks you consume, set a daily limit for your sugar intake and stick with it. You can use the USDA dietary recommendations regarding daily sugar intake for men and women as guidelines.

3. Buy Unsweetened

Opt for foods and drinks that are unsweetened or that have no added sugars. You will be able to find unsweetened alternatives for many common foods, including milk and canned fruit, in the grocery stores.

4. Eat Fresh

Try to eat the fresh and healthy versions of food as much as you can. While fresh foods have natural sugars, their sugar content is far less than what is in prepackaged food. Eating fresh and healthy foods can also keep your stomach fuller longer, which can reduce the urges for sugar.

5. Fool Your Taste Buds

Try flavoring your foods and drinks with spices instead of sugar. Mint, vanilla bean extract, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg can please your taste buds and help you fight against the cravings for sugar. If you need a sweet taste, use just a dollop of honey, which is a little healthier than sugar.

6. Avoid Eating Sugar Right before Bed

Consuming sugar and then going to bed without brushing your teeth will give the bacteria in your mouth all night to feed on the sugar that remains in your mouth. Make a habit of brushing your teeth right before you go to bed a part of your oral health routine.

Being persistent with limiting your sugar intake can benefit you in many ways. Coupled with a daily oral health routine, it can prevent the negative effects sugar has on your teeth.

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maintaining oral health routine

6 Tips on How to Maintain a Perfect Oral Health Routine

Having an oral health routine at home can help improve and maintain your dental health. However, it is important that you are consistent with your dental routine and that it is done properly. Periodically skipping a brushing and flossing or not keeping up with your regular dental checkups is more than enough to compromise your oral health.

If you are currently not in the habit of taking good care of your teeth on a daily basis, there are some things you can do to have the perfect oral health routine. The condition of your teeth and smile will improve, and you will have learned a valuable habit that will ensure that you will have good oral health for a long time.

1. Put Your Dental Items in Plain View

Keep your toothbrush and toothpaste where it would be impossible to ignore them. If you have a favorite face or body wash you use every time your shower, place your toothbrush and toothpaste right on top of it so that you will have no choice but to pick them up.

2. Set an Alarm as a Reminder

You can use an alarm to remind yourself to brush your teeth. Be sure to schedule the alarm at a time when you will be home so that you will have no excuse not to brush.

3. Give Yourself Incentives

You can motivate yourself to maintain a perfect oral health routine by setting up goals and giving yourself a reward when you reach different milestones. For example, you can set up a goal to brush and floss every day for a month and at the end of the month, buy yourself a new pair of shoes. Make sure your reward is something that you really enjoy so that you will continue to be motivated.

4. Keep Track Of Your Progress

Make a visible record that show how well you are adhering to your dental routine. You can use a calendar and posted it in the bathroom where it will be easily visible. Note every day that your brush your teeth. If you happen to forget or skip a day, just make sure you start again on the very next day.

5. Associate Brushing with another Activity

This work best if it is something that you do every day. It can be taking a shower or combing your hair. Every time you complete your chosen activity, be sure to brush and floss your teeth. Make sure you allow enough time in your schedule to complete your dental care and the other activity so that you are not rushing and feel inclined to postpone it.

6. Make Your Dental Routine a Team project

Ask a family member or a close friend to join you in your quest to maintain a daily dental routine. Sometimes simply knowing that someone else is working towards the same goals can be enough motivation to complete a task.

There are multiple short-term and long-term benefits to having an effective daily oral health routine. Your mouth will feel cleaner, and you may have fresher breath and brighter teeth. Maintaining your oral health routine can also help you avoid a number of dental conditions and diseases, such as gingivitis, tooth decay, periodontal disease and more.

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