Did you know that your New Year’s resolution to lose weight might be a step towards a healthier mouth? Losing weight is the most common resolution made every year. Making smart food choices, working out, and paying attention to portion size are a few small steps that you can take to get rid of those pounds. But did you know that these choices might not only help your waistline, but also be the first steps in having a healthier mouth?
Before when you were thirsty you might grab a soda to quench that thirst.
Now you grab a cute sports bottle and fill it full of water.
1 in 4 Americans are ingesting at least 200 calories a day from sugary drinks, such as soda. A 20oz regular soda has around 230 calories, skipping the soda is an easy way to cut calories. Did you know that most sodas have 12.5 teaspoons of sugar? This is more than the recommended DAILY amount for someone over the age of 3.
The swap is simple: Water. (Even better if it’s fluoridated!) Water contains no calories, no sugars and helps keep cavities away by washing away leftover food and keeping dry mouth at bay.
Before when that sweet tooth kicked in, you might grab a cookie or a piece of cake to satisfy it.
Now you reach for a piece of sugar-free gum.
It’s a win-win: You can prevent dessert remorse and clean your teeth at the same time. Waiting about 20 minutes after a meal helps your body determine if it’s really still hungry. Studies also show that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating can reduce your risk of cavities. (Look for a sugarless gum with the ADA seal of approval.)
Before you thought the best option to rehydrate was a sports drink.
Now you know the best option is water
Adults should aim for two and a half hours of moderate-intense physical activity every week. Staying hydrated is key when you’re exercising, but sports drinks also often add extra calories because they are full of sugar and can be acidic. That’s why, hands down, water is the best option for your body and your teeth. And while you’re strengthening your body with a workout, you can strengthen your teeth by drinking tap water. Community water with fluoride can actually help rebuild weak spots on the outer shell of your teeth.
Before when hunger would strike you would grab the first thing in sight.
Now you are better prepared and knowledgeable to choose a healthier snack.
Picking up chips, crackers or whatever is around is an easy way for calories to sneak up on you. Limiting your snacking and making better choices can help control your calorie intake and give cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth less leftover food to snack on as well. If you do snack, make it a nutritious choice—such as cheese, yogurt, fruits, vegetables or nuts—to feel fuller, longer and help your overall and dental health at the same time.
If you tend to snack at night, try moving your evening brushing time up a bit. A clean mouth just might motivate you to say no to that midnight snack.