In our last blog post from our dental clinic in Sarasota, we covered three realistic tips for how to eat less sugar, and today we’d like to detail a few more. Let’s face it: reducing your intake of any addictive substance is hard to do, and while sugar doesn’t necessarily come with a chemical dependence like alcohol or drugs, it is still extremely addictive. It’s not hard to agree and nod along with the fact that, “Yes, I need to eat less sugar,” but when the rubber meets the road, what will you do when you’re faced with that decadent chocolate mousse, raspberry cheesecake, homemade apple pie? For the good of your teeth and your overall health, here are a few more tips for how to move beyond good intentions and actually achieve the outcome you’re looking for.

4. Don’t overlook the impact of sugary drinks.

Whether your weakness is soda, frappuccinos, or good old Southern sweet tea, don’t miss the sugar impact that beverages have on your teeth. These sugary drinks can actually do more damage than foods because they bathe your teeth in a diluted sugar bath every time you take a sip. To cut down, replace these drinks with water as much as possible.

Also, if you need your caffeine to wake up but just can’t bear the bitter taste of black coffee, here’s one tip from a reader on how she trained herself to enjoy coffee without sugar:

“I wanted to wean myself off sugar in my coffee, so I tried this: Every time I would pour a cup of coffee, I would take one sip of the black coffee before I doctored it up. In this way, I gradually became used to the taste of black coffee. Eventually, I didn’t need as much sugar any more, and once you can drink your coffee black, you’ll probably never look back.”

(Have any more tips for how to cut down on sugary drinks? Write to us here to let us know!)

5. Stop buying sweets.

If you don’t like paying to go to the doctor, think about this: If you buy sweets, it’s like paying to give yourself bad health. One of the most foolproof ways to eat less sugar is to simply have less of it around. When that particular sweet treat is no longer around, you won’t be able to mindlessly reach for it. When you stop buying sweets, start buying something else to replace it. A nutritious thing that you’ve prepared, like a baggie of carrot and cucumber sticks, can fulfill your need to chew something without all the negative health impacts.

6. Quit sugar cold turkey for 90 days.

Yes, this one is extreme, but it’s for when your addiction to sugar is getting the better of you. If you find that eating just one oreo probably opens the door to eating 10, this can be a transformative technique. Go to zero sugar for 90 days, and then add it back in moderation. You’ll probably find that you’ve broken the hold it had over you.

We hope you found these tips helpful. While you’re trying them out, come in for your regular teeth cleaning. Your teeth will thank you now, and you’ll thank yourself later for investing in your good health.