Limiting How Much Sugar You Eat with Braces

By now, you have probably heard that sugar isn’t really good for us. After all, it has been proven to cause health issues, such as tooth decay and an increased risk for diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Limiting our sugar intake should be taken seriously, and it’s especially important when you have braces. Limiting how much sugar you eat with braces is essential to the success of your treatment. Here’s why.

Why is sugar bad for braces?

Taking proper care of your teeth when you have braces is not only crucial to your treatment, but also to the future of your smile. Sugar is bad for your teeth, whether you have braces or not, but it’s especially bad when you’re undergoing treatment with braces. You see, when you eat foods that are high in sugar, you’re creating more bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria love sugar and the more sugar you are eating, the more bacteria form, and when you have braces, there are more places for bacteria to hide. This makes it more difficult to get rid of this bacteria effectively.

When you don’t clean your teeth properly, your enamel can deteriorate, causing cavities to form. It can be tough to clean around your brackets and wires, so limiting your sugar intake can help prevent excess bacteria from growing and hiding in your mouth.

How to limit sugar with braces

If you have a sweet tooth, it’s important to realize the negative effects sugar can have on the body, and it’s best to wean yourself away from it as much as you can. Quitting cold turkey may not be the best option if you’re a chocaholic, but starting out slowly can help. Remember, you can still enjoy a sweet treat, but it’s important to do so in moderation. It’s also helpful to get familiar with reading labels on foods. Some foods contain large amounts of sugar without you even realizing it, so start reading up on the foods that you’re buying.

When you have braces, it’s helpful to steer clear of foods that tend to contain excessive amounts of sugar. These include:

  • Cakes and cookies
  • Gum
  • Candy
  • Soda
  • Fruit juices
  • Ice cream

In limiting your intake now, it can help you with cravings later. Sugar has addictive properties, so it’s best to wean yourself off of it completely by making a couple of swaps at a time.

Easy Sugar Swaps

As you can see, limiting your sugar has serious health benefits, but cutting sweets out cold turkey can be extremely difficult. There are a variety of seamless swaps you can make in your diet that eliminate unnecessary sugar but still provide the sweetness you crave.

 For example, the next time you crave a homemade baked good, swap out half a cup of oil for half a cup of unsweetened applesauce. Not only will you be able to leave out some of the added sugar thanks to the natural sweetness of the applesauce, but you’ll also be able to cut out unhealthy and fatty oils. 

If you start off your mornings with sweet coffee drinks like flavored lattes or frappuccinos, think about getting your day started with plain black coffee with small amounts of natural sweeteners or natural flavors like cinnamon. Most coffee shops and major chains offer sugar-free varieties of their popular flavors, so next time you go for a coffee run, ask for the sugar-free version. 

If you can’t imagine getting through your day without a can of sugary soda, try swapping your favorite brand with the sugar-free version. Better yet, you can replace your sugary soda with sparkling water infused with lemon, mint, or other natural fruit juices. 

Some people can’t sit through a movie or at their desk without a small bag of candy to chew on. A good braces-friendly, sugar-free alternative to this treat would be dried fruit or naturally sweetened fruit snacks. Just be sure not to choose a dried fruit option that’s overly chewy or sticky, or else they could get caught in braces.

Delicious sugar-free recipes

If you love to cook but aren’t sure how to accommodate a sugar-free diet, try one of these recipes. There are plenty of sugar-friendly and braces-friendly recipes out there that still taste delicious while being good for you.

If you normally keep a freezer stocked with ice cream bars, try these frozen-yogurt cups instead. These treats are naturally sweet and creamy from the real fruit and a dash of honey, while the milk and greek yogurt give it creamy goodness. These refreshing little morsels keep well in the freezer so you always have a healthy snack on hand. 

If you tend to go for more decadent desserts, this heavenly chocolate cake is for you. Thanks to the use of coconut and almond flour, this recipe is not only sugar-free, but gluten-free as well.

For a dessert that can double as a quick and easy breakfast option, look no further than this paleo-friendly, sugar-free, protein-packed banana bread. This healthy dessert gets its sweetness from ripe bananas and a dash of maple syrup. 

The importance of limiting sugar with braces

You’ve got enough on your plate when it comes to maintaining proper care of your braces. Don’t add to your stress levels by eating foods that can cause damage to your teeth. Sugar can have many detrimental effects on our health, so limiting it as best as we can is key. Set yourself up for success even after your braces have come off, so you can continue to limit sugar intake for the rest of your life. Not only will your smile thank you for it, so will your body.