Tricks to outsmart your sweet tooth

by MikeMeehan 10/24/2018 10:02 AM

It’s Halloween night, and your kids have returned from trick-or-treating with their sugary loots. Before digging in, consider the cavity-causing effects that candy can have on teeth. Enjoying sweets in moderation and managing your cravings can help you avoid tooth decay. Start taming your sweet tooth by learning how much sugar is OK to eat. The Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 12.5 teaspoons, or 50 grams, daily for those over the age of 3. Because the sugar contents of fun-sized candies vary from 2.4 grams to 14.5 grams, there’s no general rule for how many you can eat each day. Check the packaging and brand websites to calculate the number of candies you should limit yourself to. And remember to factor in the added sugars from all the other foods and drinks you consume. It adds up fast! If you reach your daily limit but the candy bowl is still tempting you, try these tips to defeat the craving:  1. Chew sugar-free gum. Popping in a stick of sugar-free gum instead of a bonbon helps in a couple ways. A study by Louisiana State University found that chewing gum may reduce snack cravings. It’s also useful for cleaning your mouth. Gum washes away leftover food particles and reduces acids that threaten tooth enamel.  2. Distract yourself when a craving hits. Taking a walk has been shown to reduce the urge to eat treats. Plus, it gets you away from the candy bowl. You know what they say – out of sight, out of mind. And if you don’t feel like taking a stroll, do an activity like giving yourself a pedicure. Pick something fun that rewards you for skipping the sweets.  3. Keep healthy substitutes close by. When you really want something sweet but already ate too much sugar, choose naturally sweet foods like fruits and vegetables. Apples, cherries, bell peppers, carrots and others will give you the taste you want along with the nutrients you need. 4. Eat at consistent intervals. You might have heard the saying, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” Well, that’s especially true when choosing foods. If your tummy’s grumbling, you might make unhealthy decisions like reaching for a candy bar instead of a nutritious snack. Eat every three to five hours to keep blood sugar in check and maintain a level head. 5. Power up with protein. Low protein levels can cause you to start craving sugar. Your body wants an energy boost and sugar is a quick source. Plan to get protein throughout the day with foods such as beans, eggs, nuts, fish and lean meats.  Even with moderation, good oral health habits are still essential for avoiding cavities. Clean your teeth and gums after consuming sugar by brushing for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and flossing. If you aren’t able to sneak away to the bathroom, chew sugar-free gum and drink plenty of water.  

How My Power Walk Turned into a Power Smile

by MikeMeehan 4/5/2017 4:00 PM

I was fortunate enough to get out for a hike, recently. And the whole time, I couldn’t stop smiling. Despite the burning muscles in my legs, the rustling trees, the blooming yellow flowers and the invigorating air, lifted my spirits and encouraged me to keep going. Power walking turned into a power smile. The connection between a walk and a smile Here at Delta Dental, we emphasize the link between oral health and overall health. So, we are happy to celebrate National Walking Day, this week, and bring attention to this connection. An unhealthy mouth can increase the risk of health problems. But a healthy mouth can keep you healthy and keep you walking. The Message of National Walking Day The American Heart Association sponsors National Walking Day on Wednesday, April 5, to remind us of the health benefits of walking. Research shows that walking at least 30 minutes a day has many benefits like reducing your risk of heart disease and improving your mental well-being. Whether you are walking, hiking, biking, or partaking in any exercise, your oral health can be a part of your overall healthy lifestyle choices. What to bring on your walk or hike Remember to pack a water bottle (hydration is good for the mouth), a smile-friendly apple for a snack, and sunglasses to protect your eyes. One good decision leads to another I can’t take credit for having the willpower to get out there for a power walk; it was an invitation from a friend that encouraged me. But the decision to go, led to another decision to eat salad this week for lunch, and another decision to plan to hike again in a few weeks. It led me to find more hiking and walking trails near me. It gave me energy to make other healthy choices. And those healthy lifestyle choices include good oral health habits. We say “Good health starts here.” So good health starts with a healthy smile and one foot in front of the other.  

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