We’re all guilty of it – nipping our hand into the fridge for a late night snack and regretting it ten minutes later. Unfortunately, the foods most of us love to snack on are high in sugar and not particularly good for your teeth. You don’t need us to tell you that sugar is bad and highly addictive, but making sure you keep a consistent lid on it can be a bit of a struggle. You can cause harm to your enamel with too much sugar, which will inevitably lead to painful tooth decay. So – how do you drastically reduce your sugar intake? Find some healthy foods to replace it with! Here’s a few exciting alternatives to give your diet a boost and save your teeth.
Ben & Jerry’s might be one of the nicest treats going, but it should definitely stay as a treat. Ice cream takes up a huge chunk of desserts around the country and it’s entirely understandable. Unfortunately, your teeth will be screaming with fear at the thought of one too many portions. The pudding is incredibly high in sugar and seriously affects the standard of your teeth. Frozen yoghurt, in our eyes, is the perfect replacement. It’s got the same textures as ice cream and has a similar range of flavours to try out. It might not be Phish Food flavour, but it will certainly become your new favourite dessert on a warm summer’s evening. We’d suggest trying it with fruit for an extra healthy twist.
Flavoured Water Substitutes
For those that can’t handle the dullness of a bottle of water, flavoured water has become a bit of a saviour. The businesses behind these flavours often attempt to market them as beneficial and healthy for our teeth and bodies. We’re sorry to say that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Turn that bottle round and read some of the statistics – the sugar content is out of this world. It might be a delicious alternative to water, but you’re actually doing almost as much damage as a soft drink does to your mouth. Our advice is to grab the nearest coconut water instead. This delicious substitute is incredibly healthy and gives your tastebuds a tantalising twist. Your teeth will also be thanking you too, with coconut water being much lower in sugar and higher in beneficial antioxidants.
From childhood to adulthood, crisps are a fundamental part of most people’s diets. They’re easy to eat and give us a salty rush immediately afterwards. Unfortunately, chewing these treats takes up a bit more effort than you would have first thought. When you’re chewing up those crisps, your mouth is creating a large amount of acid in order to deal with the high levels of starch. This, inevitably, leads to erosion of your enamel. Even though this is your own mouth’s fault (we’ll let you off the hook), we’d suggest changing things up. Why not have some cheese instead? With a much higher pH level and lower amount of – you guessed it – sugar, cheese can be a great substitute in moderation.
Soda and Fruits
You’ve probably heard your dentist nattering away about this one while you’ve been in the chair and they’re completely right to. Fizzy drinks are maybe the biggest enemy of teeth going. Highly addictive and containing incredible amounts of sugar, drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi are quite literally eroding away at millions of people’s teeth every day. A stunning number of people are receiving dental care to fix tooth decay caused by fizzy drinks every day, so we think it’s time you tried to dodge that bullet. It can be hard to fill up that space, especially if you feel addicted, but we’d recommend soda water and fruit. This luscious combination gives you that fizzy taste as well as containing much less sugar and acidic properties. Squeeze a few drops of some orange or lemon juice into your soda water and you’ll be good to go.
How could vegetables possibly be bad for you? Don’t get us wrong, any type of vegetable can only do glorious things for your health. Even so, if you’re looking to take your tooth game to another level, there’s always some improvements to nail. As opposed to cooked vegetables, spending some type gnashing away at raw vegetables is really beneficial for your teeth. The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in crunchy foods such as cucumber, carrots or celery are almost like natural toothbrushes. They’re fantastic at cleaning all that plaque and making your breath smell tip top. Ultimately, eating vegetables either way is going to go a long way, but no dentist can deny the extraordinary benefits that come with raw veggies.
Even though it’s pretty obvious that sugar is bad in high consumption, it’s very easy to forget when we’re constantly bombarded with advertising implying the opposite. Treating yourself to the occasional chocolate bar isn’t a bad thing, but eating bad foods is never going to do any part of your health any favours.
We’d also suggest heading to your dentist more regularly as well. You can get expert advice very easily and actually make sure you’re doing the right thing with your diet. London City Smiles is a fantastic example of slow dentistry done right, with multiple examples of their commitment to helping their patients in every way they can. If you’re in the London area, be sure to check them out.
These alternatives are just the start, too. There are thousands of recipes and delicious substitutes out on the internet that there really is no excuse to get involved. Most people have one thing, whether it’s ice cream or chocolate, that they know they eat too much of. If you’re struggling to get out of those bad habits, there’s no shame in taking things slowly. Spend one day a week replacing your favourite unhealthy snack with a substitute and see how it goes. If you’re not a fan, keep going! There’s plenty of alternatives out there. The best part about all of this? You’ll start to feel happier, stronger and healthier almost immediately.