Life

Ask the Dentist: Tops tips to get your teeth partying during the latest lockdown

Motivation is key when it comes to avoiding sweetie temptation during the latest lockdown, writes Lucy Stock, dentist at Gentle Dental Care in Belfast

Lockdown means sugar-up time in most households so we need to get motivated to say not to sweet stuff
Lucy Stock

TIME off over Christmas gave me space to read the motivational book by former SAS member Jason Fox who, following a breakdown, refocused and found his purpose was rowing across the Atlantic. I can’t even get my lazy butt to cycle around Botanic park...

So what’s the difference between us? I’m often amazed at how my patients manage to turn their mouths around. It’s often not an easy feat as I’m asking them to change multiple areas of their lives which are bound up in entrenched habits. Generally, I am discussing changing eating behaviours, cleaning habits and stopping deadly sins such as smoking.

I am secretly in admiration of the hardened smokers who profess their love for their vice at the initial consultation and then are able to dramatically reduce or quit by the following appointments. Please can I have a bag of the same willpower?

Recently one of my self-confessed Haribo-addicted patients decided to keep her 'before' smile photo as her screen saver, which served as a constant reminder to prevent dipping into the sweety bag.

This latest lockdown will inevitably be a sugar-up time in most households. So, if we want to control our sugar cravings, we first need to find our motivating purpose, make it bold and obvious and try locking into some of that Jason Fox grit.

Another way to beat sugar cravings in the coming months is to get prepared for the onslaught by having alternatives ready and easy to hand. Fresh and dried fruits, with or without nuts, are a good snack attack alternative. If you feel you can’t go cold turkey on the sugar, try slowly reducing it by having small pieces of 70 per cent dark chocolate, which has less sugar than milk chocolate.

Sprinkling coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom on your daily foods instead of processed sugar alternatives will naturally sweeten your food without the damaging side effects. Even try having a short hot shower to take your mind off the sweet food hankerings.

By conquering your sugar cravings, your body and teeth will be having an internal fiesta even if we can’t actually party in society.

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