Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are highly popular in the United States. According to the CDC, about half of all adults and 63 percent of teens consume at least one sugary drink every day. Despite its popularity, most people know that drinking soda is unhealthy. The empty calories and sugar in soda are linked to obesity, diabetes, weight gain, and various chronic conditions. Soda also hurts your teeth. Sugar and acid (found in both regular and diet soda) erode protective tooth enamel and lead to cavities.
If you have a goal to stop drinking soda, you may be unsure how to overcome your cravings. Follow these tips to lower your sugary drink intake and benefit your oral and overall health.
- Drink more water: Sometimes, you may crave soda if you’re simply thirsty. Drink a tall glass of water and see if the craving subsides. Water is exactly what your body needs to stay hydrated without any added sugar, acidity, calories, or artificial colors and sweeteners.
- Stop buying soda: Make it harder to give in to your cravings by never keeping soda in the house. This may require you to get the whole family on board with your goal to stop drinking sugary drinks.
- Replace soda with healthy alternatives: Curb your soda cravings by drinking flavored sparkling water, kombucha, green tea, or coconut water. You may find these satisfy your craving better than plain water because they more closely resemble soda. However, don’t replace soda with fruit juice, which can have a surprising amount of added sugar and empty calories.
- Curb your cravings: Take your mind off soda by chewing gum or snacking on a sweet, healthy treat, such as apple slices, berries, grapes, yogurt, or a smoothie.
- Manage your stress levels: Stress can induce cravings for soda and other unhealthy food. As a result, stressed individuals tend to consume more calories than non-stressed people. Healthy ways to manage stress include physical exercise, yoga, meditation, aromatherapy, journaling, and counseling.
- Create a support system: If you’re serious about not drinking soda, don’t keep it a secret. Tell your friends and family so they can help you stay accountable. Sharing your goal also gives you people to talk to when a craving strikes.
- Drink in moderation: If you decide to have soda occasionally, limit the damage by having no more than one drink per day. Also, avoid drinking soda close to bedtime, use a straw, and rinse your mouth with water afterward. Wait to brush for at least 30 minutes so your acid-attacked teeth have time to recover before you subject them to the friction of your toothbrush.
Whether you cut out soda entirely or continue to drink it in moderation, regular dental cleanings are vital for maintaining a healthy smile. Contact Park 56 Dental at (212) 826-2322 to schedule your next visit to our NYC dentist office. We provide services in a spa-like environment to ensure your complete comfort and satisfaction.
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