Fall Drinks Your Dentist Would Like You to Avoid
Fall is officially here! Which not only means football, sweater weather and cooler tempatures, but that the season for fall drinks has arrived! While some of us are happy to switch our lattes from cold to hot and others like pumpkin spice, well, everything, here are three fall drinks your dentist would like you to avoid:
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Yep, we said it. This seasonal favorite (Starbucks has sold over 200 million of these since its launch in 2013) may be fabulous for getting you into that fall spirit, but not so fab for your teeth. In addition to the damage coffee can cause to your enamel, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, or PSL, contains sugar. A lot of it. A 16 oz. Grande, their smallest size, can contain as much as 50 grams of sugar. For reference, a can of Coke (another drink you should avoid) has 39 grams of sugar. And if you’re super-sizing it with a 20 oz. Venti, you could be drinking as many as 64 grams of sugar in a single sitting. And sugar can wreak havoc with your smile, softening your teeth’s enamel and causing cavities.
A much beloved beverage from childhood and beyond, thanks to an array of “fancy hot cocoa” drinks that are taking over our cafes, much like coffee and tea, hot chocolate can stain your teeth. Not only that, but as anyone who’s ever tried pure cocoa powder before knows, hot cocoa contains a lot of sugar. 32 grams in Dunkin’ Donut’s small size to be exact. Add full-fat milk, maybe a dollop of whipped cream, and suddenly you’re calling your dentist to inquire about fillings!
Spiked Apple Cider
Apple cider is basically apple juice without the filtering out of starches and pectin. Similar in sugar content and calories to apple juice, apple cider on its own contains some health benefits (namely, Vitamin C), as well as enough sugar that Dr. Heller prefers you drink it in moderation. However, add some alcohol to the mix, and not only do you have a party, but you have an invitation for bacteria to invade your teeth and gums. Alcohol can dehydrate you, which means you’ve got less saliva to fight off the bacteria in your mouth. Depending on the alcohol, it can also significantly up the sugar content in your drink, which can contribuet to periodontal disease.
So does this mean you should go without your fall faves to save your teeth? Don’t deny yourself a little sip of fall, but definitely drink in moderation, opt for non-fat milk and no whipped cream and rinse with water after drinking.