Sugar is well-known as the main contributor to tooth decay. Yet, sugar is ubiquitous in our food supply. It’s found in almost every variety of processed food, in various forms. In modern society, it’s challenging to avoid sugar. However, there are healthy sugar substitutes to help protect your teeth. Here are some options to consider.
Xylitol is a natural sugar substitute derived from sources like
Certain hardwood trees and some fibrous fruits and vegetables. Xylitol is said to possibly help with tooth decay. Xylitol is now being used in some “sugarless” chewing gums and candies. If you have a sweet tooth, try choosing sweets with xylitol instead of sugar.
When baking at home, you probably notice that many recipes call for sugar. There’s a sugar substitute you can use in baking called stevia. Stevia is derived from the stevia plant, and is actually more sweet tasting than sugar. It can be used in baking and also used directly as a sugar substitute in your favorite coffee and tea beverages. Stevia is widely available in most grocery stores. Check online for the proper stevia substitute measurements for cooking purposes.
If you enjoy sweet tasting coffee, try using a cinnamon stick as a coffee stirrer instead of dumping sugar into your drink. Leave the cinnamon stick in the coffee while you drink it, too. Cinnamon is a mild and natural sweetener that won’t damage teeth like regular sugar. Opt for organic cinnamon sticks whenever possible, for a better taste and a pesticide-free treat.
If sugary sodas are your downfall, consider substituting with fruit-infused water, instead. The natural fruit sweetness will satisfy your sweet tooth, plus you’ll get vitamins that can help keep your teeth healthier. There are special fruit-infuser pitchers available in most home goods stores. But you can achieve the same results by placing cut fruit slices like orange, mango, lemon or lime in a piece of cheesecloth tied with twine. For best results, allow infusing for several minutes before drinking.
Although sugar seems to be everywhere in processed foods, there are ways that you can avoid it and help to protect your teeth from decay. Contact your Dayton dentist to learn more.