Giving in to your sweet tooth could increase your risks for tooth decay, especially if you eat sweet items loaded in sugar and acid frequently. Too many candy bars or bowls of ice cream could lead to the need for restorative treatments like fillings and crowns from our dentist. Fortunately, there are healthier ways to satisfy your sweet tooth when you choose ingredients with great nutritional content and reduced sugar.
Reducing sugar intake is important. The bacteria in our mouths naturally feed on sugar molecules. By reducing sugar intake, you can starve harmful oral bacteria and subsequently reduce your risks for tooth decay.
Consider the following tips and tricks for healthier sweets and desserts.
Melt Dark Chocolate Over Berries
If you’re a chocoholic, you might be tempted to reach for candy bars when your sweet tooth rears its dessert-loving head. Candy bars and other packaged chocolate treats contain large amounts of sugar.
If you crave chocolate, take a DIY approach by melting dark chocolate (less sugar, more antioxidants) over fruit like strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. By adding fresh, whole fruits to your dessert, you’ll receive extra nutrition from the berries’ rich vitamin and fiber content.
Choose Plain Yogurt Over Ice Cream
Ice cream tastes delicious but its sugar content will send oral bacteria into a feeding frenzy. Instead of ice cream, consider eating plain, low-fat yogurt. You can jazz up yogurt with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar, chopped nuts, granola, and fresh fruit for milder but more nutritious sweetness.
Get Your Chocolate Fix with Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
Unsweetened cocoa powder is a great pantry staple for those who love chocolate but don’t want to consume prepackaged items full of sugar and preservatives. You can add unsweetened cocoa powder to everything from coffee to roasted nuts and popcorn for a delicious chocolate fix.
Beyond choosing healthier sweet treats, it’s important to consume these items with smart habits, too. Drinking water when consuming sweets is helpful for diluting the acids released by bacteria that feed on sugar and for rinsing away food particles. We recommend brushing your teeth about 30 minutes after consuming something sugary as well.
If it’s time for a checkup or cleaning, call the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow to schedule an appointment with our dentist.