Craving something sweet can occur any time of day. How you handle the urge to satisfy your sweet tooth is important for your oral health. What you eat and how often you give in can impact your teeth and overall health as well. Your dentist has many suggestions for keeping teeth and gums healthy … and remember to visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning to remove plaque that has formed and built up since your previous visit.
If you get a little creative, you will find there are many ways to satisfy your sweet tooth. Some basic suggestions include naturally sweet fruits like apples, grapes, peaches … fresh fruit is high in fiber (skin on) and vitamins making fruit a great choice.
Dried fruit (in moderation) is acceptable, but can be very high in calories so watch portion size. Dried figs are delicious and contain iron, fiber, and vitamins.
Dark chocolate can be used in numerous ways. You can enjoy a piece of dark chocolate on its own or mix in a small portion of shaved sweetness with a serving of plain greek yogurt, melt and dip your favorite fruit and chill for a cool treat, add in with granola or nuts (watch your serving size), or melt with a spoon of natural peanut butter and pour over a serving of popcorn you popped (not microwave or prepackaged). Hot chocolate is sweet and can take a while to drink allowing you to enjoy your treat even more.
Greek yogurt can be enjoyed on its own, but add in some crumbled graham crackers (plain, cinnamon, or chocolate), fruit, granola or nuts to add variety … but all greek yogurts are not created equally … read labels carefully to prevent consuming one loaded with sugar.
You can make your own ice cream by blending ripened bananas or puree your favorite fruit, mix with a a small amount of lime or apple juice, and freeze for a healthy frozen treat.
When the sweet tooth strikes, another solution to snacking is to take a walk, exercise, or engage in a distracting behavior until the urge passes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and don’t allow yourself to get so hungry that you grab the first thing you see.