Halloween is just around the corner! Sometimes, the spookiest part of the whole season are the sugar cravings that come when all those Halloween treats hit the shelves!
Before you dive too far into that trick or treat bag, there are a few sinister secrets you might want to know about sugar and your dental health.
Sugar cravings are real, and they can negatively affect your dental health. A sugar-heavy diet can be especially damaging if you’re not practicing great dental hygiene. Learn how you can fight off the sugar monster this Halloween from your McAllen family dentists.
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
There are several biological and psychological reasons that explain why we crave sugar. Your hippocampus plays a big role in reward-seeking behavior, and it loves sugar. If you use sweets as a reward after work, you can quickly create a habit out of it. Another culprit behind your cravings could be your diet. Those who have a low protein or carbohydrate diet tend to get a quick burst of energy from sugar and sweets.
How Does Sugar Affect Our Teeth?
When you consume sugar, the harmful bacteria in your mouth feeds on that sugar and produces dental plaque that sits on your teeth. If this plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, it sits on your teeth and forms acid. That acid can then cause tooth decay and cavities.
Now you can see why brushing your teeth at least twice a day is so important to your dental health! Without regular brushing, you’re much more likely to develop tooth decay and cavities. If left untreated, these dental issues can progress into illnesses that affect your whole body.
What Are Some Ways To Fight Off Sugar Cravings?
There are many tips and tricks you can follow while trying to fight off those pesky sugar cravings. Different methods work for different people. You just have to find which works best for you. If you’re still having trouble fighting off sugar cravings, ask your dentist for more help cutting back.
1. Treat Yourself… In Moderation!
If you cut yourself off from sugar completely, chances are you’ll overindulge in no time. By giving yourself a realistic calorie limit, you can enjoy a sweet treat and get rid of those bitter feelings of denial while staying on track.
Cutting your sugar calories can be something as simple as switching from a king-size candy car to a smaller size or grabbing a miniature cup of ice cream from the store instead of a full gallon. Over time, you will be able to find what works for you while still giving in to your sweet tooth.
2. Eat Healthy Foods With Your Treats
For many of us, it’s hard to stick to just a small amount of sugar and still feel satisfied. If you combine sugar with healthier options like fruit or nuts, you’ll have a better chance of eating less sugar. Some healthy options could include bananas or strawberries dipped in chocolate, dark chocolate chips with almonds, or apples slices covered in peanut butter and chocolate chips.
3. Walk Away From Tempting Treats
It’s often better to walk away from temptation in order to avoid doing something you’ll regret. The same is true for sugar cravings. If you are afraid you’ll give in to the craving, go for a walk, and let the change in scenery take your mind off the sweets. Sugar cravings are often psychological, so walking away can allow your mind to think about something else instead of sweets.
4. Don’t Wait Too Long Between Your Meals
When we wait too long between meals, we’re more likely to give in and eat snacks before we reach lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, those quick and easy snacks often contain high amounts of sugar. Eating every three to five hours allows your blood sugar to maintain stable levels. This can help you avoid the urge to reach for the sugar.
Fight Off The Sugar Monster This Halloween With Help From Your Dentists at WhiteWing Dental!
As Halloween creeps closer, so does the temptation to overindulge in sugar sweets and chocolatey goodness! Having a treat every now and again can be a lot of fun, but eating too many treats can build up sugar on your teeth between brushing. That build-up can lead to some serious dental issues!
Make an appointment today to get a cleaning and exam from your McAllen Dentists at WhiteWing Dental. Protect your mouth from the sugar monster, and create better habits to end the year strong!