Posts for tag: sugar
Some of your favorite little guilty pleasures could be doing a number on your oral health.
We all know how difficult it can be to say no to that delicious piece of chocolate cake or sweets, in general. You may feel like you have zero willpower when it comes to your diet. Maybe you just love drinking sodas or you find yourself reaching for sweet treats a lot during the day. Whatever the case might be, our Scarsdale and Westchester, NY, area dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Pike, is here to tell you how your diet can impact the health of your smile.
While we know that saying no to sugar all the time is pretty much an impossibility, it’s important to understand why sugar should be consumed in moderation. After all, sugar is the number one culprit of dental decay. Even though there are some healthy foods such as vegetables that contain sugars, these are naturally occurring and an important part of your diet. The sugars we are talking about are the added sugars found in sports drinks, sodas, yogurts, candies, cookies and other sweets.
Of course, it isn’t just sugar that we need to point a finger at. We also need to examine your diet in general. If you aren’t getting the proper nutrients your mouth needs to stay healthy and strong then it should go without saying that you’re going to have dental problems in the near future. Not getting enough key nutrients could leave you prone to infection or even gum disease. For example, calcium is crucial for strong bones.
So, how do you go about enjoying a smile-friendly diet? We recommend following the food pyramid to see what foods you should be consuming on a regular basis and which foods you may want to limit. Healthy foods include low-fat dairy, vegetables and fruits, lean proteins and whole grains.
Have questions about your diet? Want to make sure you are providing your teeth with the proper nutrients they need? If so, then it’s time you called The Scarsdale Dentist Scarsdale in Scarsdale, New York and serving the Westchester, NY area to schedule your upcoming cleaning. We would be happy to provide you with the advice you need to maintain good oral health.
Energy drink makers would have you believe their products are a healthy rehydration choice for athletes while also giving them keener focus and renewed vitality. But before adding them to your sports regimen, you should also consider what effect these beverages could have on your teeth.
Energy drinks are similar in ingredients to sports drinks like Gatorade® and PowerAde®, which mostly consist of water, salts, vitamins, sugars and acids. In addition, energy drinks like Red Bull® and Monster Energy® add caffeine to boost energy.
Besides their sugar content, the main threat from a dental health perspective for both of these drinks is their acidity, which can severely erode tooth enamel. The irreplaceable loss of enamel significantly increases your risk of tooth decay and eventually tooth loss.
The threat of enamel erosion is especially pronounced whenever the mouth’s pH level falls below 5.5. The acidity of both sports and energy drinks falls well below this mark. In one experimental study samples of enamel exposed to a number of sports drinks lost an average of 1.5% of mineral content over five days; energy drinks more than doubled that loss at 3.1%.
Given the potential harm these beverages, especially energy drinks, can cause your teeth, you should exercise caution when consuming them. In fact, our best advice is for you to avoid energy drinks altogether, for your overall health as well as your teeth’s sake.
Unless you’re participating in a physically intense sport, water is your best source for hydration after exertion. Â If you do drink sports beverages, try to limit them to meal times when your saliva is most active to neutralize mouth acid. You can also rinse out your mouth with water after drinking to help further reduce mouth acidity.
As an athlete, you’ve trained your body to be at its optimum physical peak. Don’t let energy or sports drinks take the edge off your health, especially your teeth.
If you would like more information on the effects of sports or energy drinks on dental health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sports and Energy Beverages Bathe Teeth in Erosive Acids.”