We don't have to tell you that sugar is the enemy when it comes to the health of your teeth. It loves to feed on the bacteria in the plaque that sits on your teeth. If you don’t rinse your mouth or brush your teeth shortly after consuming foods or beverages loaded with sugar, bacteria breaks down sugary carbs and develops acid as a byproduct. Sugar starts the chain reaction, but acid does the damage by attacking your dental enamel and causes cavities.
Now that you understand a little bit more about the process, you can make better choices with the foods (and in particular beverages) you consume. Here’s a little quiz to see how savvy you are when it comes to sugar content in some of your favorite drinks.
Of the following, which do you think contains the least and most teaspoons of sugar in a 12-ounce serving?
- Energy Drink
- Flavored Milk
- Low-calorie Sports Drink
- Sports Drink
- Fruit Smoothie
- Sweetened Coffee Drink
As you might guess, the low-calorie sports drink is the lowest, with only 1.5 teaspoons. And while manufacturers of sports and energy drinks do everything they can to convince you that these are healthy choices, they are loaded with sugar - 12 teaspoons per serving! Worse yet, they usually contain high levels of caffeine, which presents its own set of problems.
But the highest sugar content of those listed is sweetened coffee drinks (like your latte and cappuccino) that come in at 14 teaspoons per serving. That’s nearly a third of a cup of sugar! You might want to rethink those frequent trips to your nearby coffee shop!
Alpharetta, GA dentist Dr. Kai Liang believes that knowledge is power. One of our goals is to keep you informed about things that impact your oral health so you can make better choices to support a healthier smile.
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