In just a few short weeks, many Americans will be presenting their loved ones with Easter candies. Before that happens, our cosmetic dentistry team in Gettysburg wanted to briefly discuss the sweet tooth myth and offer alternatives to the classic, holiday confections. Let’s start with a few studies that help show why dental patients shouldn’t be blaming their teeth for their sugar cravings:
In June 2013, an article appeared in a research journal published by The Obesity Society. It revealed that by and large, humans really do eat with their eyes. In other words, the mere sight of Easter treats can cause feel-good, chemical changes to occur in our bodies, which eventually lead towards the development of cravings. It wasn’t the first study to indicate as much. Over the years, several have appeared in the journals, Neuroscience and Cell alone. So clearly, the best way to overcome those Easter candy cravings is to change how we look at sweets and retrain our brains.
Our cosmetic dentistry team suggests patients start by taking a look at candy substitutes that can fool the brain. For instance, there are products on the market today that look like sugary candies but are actually made with xylitol. We’ve talked about xylitol in previous blog posts. It’s a substance that is known to help minimize or get rid of cavity causing bacteria. That’s why people often include it in oral hygiene products like mouthwashes, chewing gums, breath mints, dental floss and toothpaste. Some of the companies that produce edibles made with xylitol are Dr. John’s Candies™, Xlear Incorporated, Simply Xylitol® and Xyla™.
Xylitol is not the only product that can be used to trick our brains into thinking a sweet, Easter treat is near. There are many natural ingredients that can add sweetness to what we eat and drink without increasing their sugar levels. The list of ingredients that may work includes, but isn’t limited to pure vanilla bean powder, ground cinnamon, almonds, coconuts, apples, beets, avocados and grated carrots. To learn more about protecting loved ones’ teeth without forgoing all the holiday fun, please contact us today.
Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.