Sugar & *Pumpkin* Spice – For Your Teeth? Not So Nice!
Pumpkin Spice Latte season is here – and it seems as though everywhere you turn, a coffee shop is ready to serve you this savory, sweet and soothing treat. But can something so good, be that bad for your smile…?
Don’t worry, we’re not here to deprive you of this infamous fall treat on occasion, but there are unhealthy effects of a PSL, that can impact your teeth and gums. Read on to discover two reasons why Pumpkin Spice Lattes are sweet on the taste buds, but not so sweet for your dental health – and what you can do to still enjoy that beloved PSL, while keeping your oral hygiene in check.
Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are literally filled to the brim with lots of different sugars that are all harmful to your teeth. When it comes to your smile, you should always be mindful of your sugar intake – too much indulgence can advance oral health problems such as tooth decay and gum disease.
How you ask? Fun Fact: Your mouth carries all kinds of good and bad bacteria. The good, they’re great! The bad? They feed on the sugars you pass through your mouth, to create harmful acids. These acids attack your protective enamel coating on your teeth, and can even permanently damage your gums – leading to cavities or even tooth loss.
It might be old news that coffee stains your teeth, but do you know how the discoloration occurs?
While your teeth may feel smooth to the touch, there are microscopic holes, pits and ridges all over your teeth that are invisible to the naked eye. These holes can trap tiny bacteria from food and drinks as they pass through your mouth – storing until they are removed.
Food and drinks that are particularly dark in color (such as that tasty PSL!), will stain your tooth enamel as the bacteria particles are allowed to sit within those teeny tiny crevices, giving your teeth a stained, yellow hue.
How can I enjoy an occasional PSL, & keep my teeth sparkling?
When it comes to sugar in Pumpkin Spice Lattes, one of the most effective ways to combat tooth decay and other underlying oral health issues is to regularly brush your teeth. That means everyday, twice a day, for two minutes – followed by flossing. Regular checkups with your dentist are another must. Dental hygienists can reach and clean tough spots that even the most dedicated of toothbrush-ers’ miss –while dentists can identify and correct small oral health issues, before they become big, costly ones.
We also suggest washing down your PSL with a glass of water. H2O helps sweep your mouth clean of leftover residue, regulates the good and bad bacteria on your teeth and gums, and can improve the overall condition of your smile.
If you have any questions about how your diet impacts your oral health – don’t be afraid to as your oral health care provider. They are always there to help, any season of the year!
Wishing you many reasons to share your healthy smile this autumn…
– Dr. Ed Lowe Centre for Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry