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25Sep2012

5 Easy Tips For Limiting Sugar During Your Orthodontic Treatment

HOW MUCH SUGAR ARE YOU CONSUMING EACH DAY? Do you know? In many countries, the average can be well over 20 teaspoons per day! Sugar can be a major contributor to tooth decay. And, while we’re in the middle of your orthodontic treatment, it’s especially important to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. That way, when your braces come off, you won’t have a bunch of dental repair work that has to be done! Here at our practice, we’re interested in talking about every topic that affects your oral, your orthodontic treatment, and your overall health.

It’s Not JUST About Avoiding “Sweets”

Here are 5 easy ways to get a better handle on your sugar intake:

1. Read Labels

There’s added sugar lurking in places you would have never guessed. “Healthy” cereals, ketchup, chips, and even spaghetti sauces can have tons of sugar. Be sure to watch the video below to learn how to equate grams of sugar into teaspoons. Also, watch for words like dextrose, sucrose, malted barley extract, and corn syrup when reading the ingredients list.

2. Beware Of Pseudo-Healthy Traps

You may assume that you’re eating healthier with that energy bar, smoothie, or yogurt. That may not be true. Take a careful look at the nutritional facts and sugar content before you make such things a routine staple.

The Info In This Video Is Great

This video from the community partnership, Smile Kentucky!, is somewhat directed toward kids—but the information is important for everyone! Enjoy and learn!

3. Watch What You’re Drinking

Half of your sugar intake may be in the things you drink. A major offender is soda pop, but be careful of fruit juices too.

4. Find Easy Alternatives

Everyone’s tastes and lifestyles are so different, so experiment until you find YOUR OWN solution. Sweet tooth in the evening? For you, it may work best to satisfy the craving with a tiny piece of dark chocolate (eaten without guilt), and then promising yourself to brush your teeth immediately afterwards and not eat anything else before bedtime. Afternoon munchies? Cut up a bunch of easy-to-eat raw vegetables at the beginning of the week and keep them handy in the fridge for snacking. Also, drink more water! Sometimes (believe it or not) you think you’re hungry—but in reality, you’re thirsty. A tall glass of water can get you past a craving.

5. Cut Back On Starches, Snack Foods And Bread

Both sugar and starch are carbohydrates. They both break down into sugars, and they both can promote tooth decay.

We hope you find these ideas helpful!

Remember that by cutting back on sugar, you can better stave off obesity, diabetes, and of course, cavities when your orthodontic work is complete! What’s good for your body is good for your teeth too!

Do you have any tips of your own for minimizing sugar? We’d love to hear them. Share them below in the comments section or on our Facebook page. Thank you for being our valued patient!

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