Summer can be a great time to have braces. Not only do you have more free time to schedule your appointments, but you can also focus your energy on taking care of your teeth with braces. However, during the summer, one of the biggest problems patients face is sugar intake. Summer is the season for picnics and parties where sugary treats and drinks run rampant. Sugar can wreak havoc on your teeth, so here are some ideas on how to limit your sugar intake while you’re in braces this summer.
Health Problems Associated With Sugar Intake
Excessive sugar intake can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In addition, excessive sugar consumption leads to tooth decay and gum disease (which can lead to heart disease). Sugar causes tooth decay quicker than any other food: when sugar sits on the teeth or in between your brackets, it begins to break down your teeth. Even though sugar can seem harmless at first, consuming it in large amounts can do a lot of damage. Here are some helpful tips to reduce your sugar intake.
Read Food Labels
Sugar has a tendency to hide among other ingredients on food labels. Look for items like added sweeteners, fruit concentrates, and high fructose corn syrup, which can all be aliases for sugar. It’s also important to look at the amount of sugar per serving.
Learning how to read food labels can make a big difference when trying to limit your sugar intake, especially when you have braces. Some foods you wouldn’t expect can contain high amounts of sugar.
Get Rid of Foods With High Sugar Content
Often times, if the sugary food isn’t there, there will be no temptation to eat it. So give your pantry an overhaul. Read the labels and get rid of the foods that are high in sugar, replacing them with healthier alternatives. If you’re looking to add a bit of flavor to a sweet dish, try adding in some spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice or ginger. Not only will these spices give your dish a great flavor, but you’ll also be limiting the amount of sugar as well.
Other Helpful Tips for Cutting Sugar
Substituting water for sugary sodas is extremely important for braces patients because the sugar from soda has a tendency to sit on the teeth. If you do enjoy an occasional soda, be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
It can be difficult to cut sugar from your diet, but protecting your teeth is important. Most people find that weaning themselves off of sugar is the most effective approach. After all, sugar can be addictive, so quitting all at once can be tough. The less sugar in your diet, the less your body will crave it.
Sugar Intake and Your Braces
Having braces means you have new responsibilities. Taking the time to understand what is in the foods you eat and limiting sugar will help you now and for the rest of your life as you enjoy the smile that braces helped you achieve.
The experts at Charleston Orthodontic Specialists are ready to help you get the smile that you deserve. Contact our offices by calling (843) 642-8100 or visit www.charlestonorthodonticspecialists.com to learn more.