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Celebrate But Protect Your Sweet Tooth

Celebrate But Protect Your Sweet Tooth
by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

Read Celebrate But Protect Your Sweet Tooth by Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S. to learn more about Grove Smiles® Dentistry and our Dentistry office in Coconut Grove, FL.

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The fabulous Fourth of July weekend is upon us! So as we get excited and prepare to celebrate with barbeques and family parties, ensure you protect your sweet tooth from hard sugars with these excellent recommendations and substitutions.

The Bad Wrap On Sugar

Natural sugar in itself is not bad for you, but too much can add unhealthy pounds and open your mouth to tooth decay.

Sugar can lead to tooth decay because our mouths are diverse microbiomes containing dozens of species of harmful and beneficial bacteria, which reproduce themselves multiple times per day. Just as your sweet tooth may crave sugar because of the fantastic taste, so do the harmful bacteria. So when the sugar-junkie bacteria eat the sugar that sticks to our teeth, it excretes acid that dissolves tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay.

With sweet treats so enticing, how can we satisfy a sweet tooth craving without satisfying the cravings of millions of harmful bacteria? By cooking sugar-free desserts, of course!

Sweet Treat Substitutions

A good chef or baker is always open to fun and recommendations in the kitchen. Even if you are not a culinary expert, here are a few suggestion substitutions to help you cut down on sugar without cutting down on the sweetness when you are cooking. Some of them can be pricey, so your budget might play a role in determining which one you use.

Suggestion One

Rebaudioside A: is a polyol or sugar alcohol produced by Stevia, a leafy South American plant. The FDA has approved Rebaudioside A as a safe food additive, which means we can cook with it.

But what makes it better for our teeth than sugar? Well, all those hungry bacteria in our mouths can not digest sugar alcohols, so we get to enjoy the sweet taste, but they do not! The only downside is that it can leave a bitter aftertaste if you use too much. Also, since you only need one teaspoon to match the sweetness of a whole cup of sugar, it is easy to overdo it.

Suggestions Two And Three

Xylitol and Erythritol are two more sugar alcohols that serve as excellent sweeteners. You may be familiar with Xylitol because that is what sweetens sugar-free gum. Although dentists may recommend this sweetener for sugar-free gum and sweet treats, it is not the best to cook in the kitchen as it can cause digestive discomfort if you overindulge.

Finally, the third suggestion is Erythritol. Erythritol has the same benefits but has one drawback; it can be expensive.

Nature’s Candy – Fruit

Fruit is another great sugar substitute. If you’d rather work with ingredients you already know, unsweetened applesauce, bananas, dates, and figs are four great replacements for table sugar that you can use in many recipes. You’ll end up with desserts that are still sweet and moist but contain far less sugar, which your teeth will appreciate.

Fruits are sweet because they contain fructose, a type of sugar, but you’ll use less sugar overall by using pureed fruit instead of table sugar.

Don’t Forget The Basics

Even if you completely cut out all foods that are bad for your teeth from your diet, it is still crucial to maintain good oral hygiene. So brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and come for a cleaning appointment every six months at Grove Smiles Dentistry in Coconut Grove, FL, for the best results!

PS: Be sure to bring your favorite sugar-free dessert recipes the next time you come!

For Your Health,

Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S.

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Grove Smiles® Dentistry

Dr. Stephen J. Parr D.D.S., P.A.
2685 Bird Avenue
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
Phone: 305-858-0505
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