May 27, 2014

With summer’s heat quickly approaching the East Coast, we want to remind our Dr. Dental patients to think twice before reaching for a sugary beverage like soda or even a sports or energy drink to re-hydrate.

It’s no secret that sipping too many of these types of beverages is unhealthy. Not only can these drinks cause cavities, but the high sugar and acidic content can also increase the likelihood of tooth decay and enamel erosion, too.

In fact, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that 12 ounces of a leading brand of cola and a leading brand of energy drink each contained 42 grams of sugar, while a well-known sports drink contained 21 grams of sugar.

However, sugar alone isn’t the cause of rotting teeth – it’s actually the acid that is produced when sugar mixes with certain bacteria in the mouth, which can have an erosive effect on the tooth. Sugary, acidic drinks are particularly damaging when they are sipped frequently throughout the day because they spend a prolonged amount of time on the teeth.

So what should you drink instead? Here are five soda alternatives:

  • Water. Too boring for your taste buds? Consider infusing it with slices of orange, lemon or cucumber to give it a new taste.
  • Iced Tea. A cold glass of unsweetened iced tea puts you in charge of the added sugar, which you should use sparingly.
  • Green Tea. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that routine intake of green tea may actually help healthy teeth and gums.
  • 100% fruit juice mixed with sparkling water. Fruit juices like apple and orange have more calories per ounce than soda, but putting just a splash of 100% juice can help keep the calorie count low while keeping some sweetness. It’s also carbonated, so it can trick your taste buds into thinking its soda.
  • Low-sugar milk. Check the label for sugar content and choose the milk with the lowest amount of sugar. Unsweetened coconut and almond milks are also good choices for dental health since many provide calcium and other vitamins and minerals to help keep teeth strong.

There are plenty of alternatives to drinking soda when the warm weather hits. We hope you re-think your drink and choose something better year-round and you will be on your way to healthier teeth!

There is no better way to keep teeth healthy than good oral care — including annual exams and cleanings by Dr. Dental’s experts. Schedule an appointment online with us today!

What are your favorite alternatives to soda, sports and energy drinks?

Our family-owned dental offices are proud to bring affordable smiles to all ages at convenient locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

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