Gotta Have a Soda?

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Wendy Parker, RDH

Gotta Have a Soda? 

            It’s summertime, the heat is in the air, the pool is inviting, and you have a drink of soda in your hand.  It’s hard not to when it is so available and so tempting everywhere you go!  Last year, my son and I made a New Year’s Resolution to go a whole year without soda.  And let me tell you, it was no easy task!  I can’t tell you how many times we ate pizza and my son and I had lemonade or water instead of a root beer.  Or how many times we went to the movies and remembered not to order a drink, and got a bottle of water instead. It was definitely a change in our habit, but after a while it became easier and easier not to have a Thirstbuster and to reach for water instead of a soda.

With that said, I always knew that sodas aren’t good for you, but after doing some research, I found this handy dandy little sheet that listed some of our family’s favorite drinks and their acidity levels.  Keep in mind that neutral levels are at a 7.0, and acidic levels are lower than that.  Your body, in order to function properly, and to avoid enamel damage in the mouth, needs to remain close to a neutral level as possible.

Acidity (pH scale) of Common Drinks

The pH scale measures the acidity of a solution. The lower the pH, the stronger the acid.   The stronger the acid, the more damage that is done to your child’s teeth.

Therefore, the drinks are listed from best to worst.

Drink Name                                     pH                                Sugar Content

Unsweetened Tea                                            7.2                                          0

Water                                                                     7.0 (neutral)                         0

Milk (2% of skim)                                            6.8                                          3.5

Instant Coffee (black)                                    5.5                                          0

Root Beer                                                             4.6                                          10.7

Diet Root Beer                                                   4.6                                          0

Tomato Juice                                                     4.5                                          4.2

7-Up/Sprite                                                        3.7                                          9

Juicy Juice                                                          3.5                                          4.6

Apple Juice                                                         3.4                                          4.8

Diet Cola                                                              3.4                                          0

Orange Juice                                                      3.3                                          6.3

Minute Maid                                                       3.2                                          11.9

Mountain Dew                                                  3.2                                          46

Snapple                                                                 3.2                                          7.6

Propel                                                                    3.2                                          0.4

V-8                                                                          3.1                                          5.5

Sierra Mist                                                           3                                              5

Kool-Aid Jammers                                          3                                              5.1

Gatorade                                                              2.9                                          21

Dr. Pepper                                                          2.9                                          40.5

Hawaiian Punch                                              2.8                                          10.2

Powerade                                                            2.7                                          15

Hi-C                                                                       2.7                                          5.5

Coke                                                                      2.5                                          27

Country Time Lemonade                            2.5                                          5.4

Pepsi                                                                      2.4                                          27

Sunny Delight                                                   2.4                                          6.3

Battery Acid*                                                      1

*Please do not drink battery acid, this was just added to the list to show scale of acidity

So, hopefully, next time you reach for a soda, I hope you remember this chart and for every can of soda you drink, you have to drink 32 oz. of water to neutralize the acid in your body!

Happy Drinking everyone!

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources:

http://www.kidsdentistdrwinn.com/clientuploads/PDFs/Acidity%20Sheet%20Sheet1.pdf

What is Xylitol?

LindsayW

Lindsay Whitlock, RDH

“Xylitol is a natural sweetener derived from the fibrous parts of plants.”

What Are The Dental Benefits of Xylitol?

Splenda (Sucralose) is a commonly used artificial sweetener that one would use to sweeten their iced tea. Once you drink your sweet tea, your teeth are splashed with the sugary beverage, and the Splenda begins to break down in your mouth. Bacteria already thriving in your mouth are immediately drawn to the sugars on your teeth. During this process, the bacteria, for lack of better words, “poop” out acid onto your teeth, and begin the cavity process.

Xylitol does not break down in the mouth like typical sugars (Splenda). Because acid-producing bacteria cannot digest Xylitol, the growth of bacteria is greatly reduced in your mouth, up to 90%. After taking xylitol, the bacteria are unable to stick to the surfaces of your teeth, and thus results in decreased plaque.

Your saliva in your mouth is naturally trying to keep your mouth at a neutral pH, as one is ingesting sugars. If sugar is only consumed a couple times per day, the saliva can protect your mouth and teeth on its own. But for most, sugar is so often consumed that your natural defenses (saliva) are not enough, in the battle of cavity prevention. Xylitol can also increase a neutral pH saliva flow, which could decrease your risk of cavities.

Other Benefits of Xylitol?

  • Xylitol serves as an effective sugar substitute for diabetics and non-diabetics
  • Delicious sweet taste… with no unpleasant aftertaste
  • Provides one third fewer calories than sugar
  • May be useful as a sugar alternative for people with diabetes (on the advice of their healthcare providers)
  • It’s 100% natural. Xylitol is not an artificial substance, but a normal part of everyday metabolism. Xylitol is widely distributed throughout nature in small amounts
  • It’s safe
  • It’s convenient to use
  • Xylitol can be conveniently delivered to your teeth via chewing gum, tablets, or even candy. You don’t need to change your normal routine to make room for Xylitol

How Much, and How Often Should I use Xylitol?

Strive For 5:

  1. Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon waking up
  2. After breakfast use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  3. After lunch use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  4. After dinner use Xylitol gum, mints, or candy
  5. Use Xylitol toothpaste, mouthwash, and nasal spray upon going to bed

For a complete this of Xylitol containing products, follow this link: http://xylitol.org/xylitol-products

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Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

http://www.dentistingilbert.com

Sources: 

http://www.Xylitol.org

Sports & Energy Drinks

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Wendy Parker RDH

 

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It’s that time of year again, where sports start up, we sign our little ones, our teens, and love watching sports starting with the football season. Along with that comes games and parties and lots and lots of food and drinks! Typically the drink of choice for young athletes are gatorades, powerades, and energy drinks to help with their performance in the games, however, I hope this season we think twice about our hydration drink of choice.

Some beleive that the energy drinks and gatorades are the best drink for rehydrating our bodies and giving us energy and better than a soda. However, in the recent years as we have seen an increase in soda and juice consumption by teens we have also seen an increase in tooth decay. Is there a relation? Of course!

“The big misconception is that energy drinks and sports drinks are healthier than soda for oral health” says researcher Poonam Jain, BDS, MPH, associate professor and director of community dentistry at the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine. (http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120503/are-energy-drinks-bad-for-teeth)

A study published in the May/June 2012 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of Dentistry, found that there is a significant increase in consumption of energy and sports drinks that is causing irreversible erosion of tooth enamel. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120501134319.htm)

Jain and her team tested 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity. They tested six drinks for their effects on tooth enamel and found both types caused damage. Energy drinks, however, were twice as bad. Damaged tooth enamel cannot be fixed.

The six drinks they tested were Gatorade Rain, Powerade Option, Propel Grape, Monster Assault, Red Bull, and 5-hour energy. Samples were immersed in the drinks for 15 minutes and then the sample was transferred to actificial saliva for 2 hours and repeated 4 times a day for 5 days. This may seem a little excessive, however, some teens are drinking these bevereages or a combination of them at this amount. Their results were that the average enamel lost with sports drinks was about 1.5%, and energy drinks it was 3 %. It was interesting to me that the drink that had the highest acidity levels was Gatorade Blue!

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One that my kids love to drink! The other drinks with high acidity levels include:

  • Red Bull Sugarfree
  • Monster Assault
  • 5-hour Energy
  • Von Dutch
  • Rockstar

(http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/news/20120503/are-energy-drinks-bad-for-teeth)

I don’t know about you, but I’d do about anything to keep as much enamel as possible!

What happens is that the bacteria in the mouth take the sugars and convert them to acid and that acid eats away at the tooth enamel. The more exposure the acid has to the tooth, the more opportunity it has to wear away the enamel and cause decay. So, if you have a habit of sipping on a gatorade, energy drink, or even soda all day, the more you are exposing your teeth to acid and erosion possibly causing tooth decay.

We recommend that if you do have these drinks, please make them more of an exception than the standard (no more than 1-12 oz. bottle/day), rinse with water after you drink them, and make sure you are brush and floss at least 1 hour after consuming them. Otherwise, you could damage the softened enamel from the acidic drink. And make sure you come see us so that we can help you maintain and protect your pearly whites! We hope you all have a great season of sports, fun, friends, and good food!

 

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We look forward to helping you create that new smile that you have always wanted.

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

Image Source:

www.thesportsbank.net

http://www.gatorade.com

www.clipartbest.com

The Secrets of Soda

Lets be honest here, we all love the sugary, carbonated taste of soda every once in a while. I know I do. There is nothing better than coming home in the summer, crack open that cold can of coke, and savoring the delicious taste 🙂 Little did you know, soda has many secrets that they are  trying to keep hidden from the world so we stay under their delicious spell for forever. I’m sure soda isn’t doing a thing for your waistline either, but it is also rotting your teeth! Eeeeek!

Some of the less obvious staining on your teeth is caused by the sugar and acid consumed as a result of drinking soda. Researchers say drinking soda can be just as corrosive to teeth as drinking battery acid. Who would knowingly drink battery acid but willingly chug a soda?

The sugar and the acid in soda help eachother. The acid brings bacteria to your mouth, and the bacteria sits on top of your teeth. The bacteria sitting on your teeth feeds off of sugar. So when you drink soda with a high amount of sugar in it, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth caused by acid. The acid alone begins to erode your tooth enamel around the bacterial colony that is caused by the sugar when it enters your moth. It allows the bacteria to move into the eroded areas and eventually leading to cavaties. It’s a big vicious circle that needs to be stopped dead in its tracks.

A coke contains more than 9tsp. of sugar (WHAT!). That much sugar adds layers of sugars to your teeth, and when those layers are on your teeth, they cause plaque to build up. Over time, this layer can produce a yellowed effect on your teeth. Soda has a Carmel dye added into it to create that signature deep brown color. It doesn’t even add any flavor to the drink, it just does more damage to your teeth. The carmel coloring contributes to yellowing of your teeth, and weakedn enamel makes it easer for teeth to become stained.

By cutting out soda you are doing a favor to your body in general. It prevents tooth decy, plaque build up, cavaties, staining, and many other things.

I understand if you’re hooked on soda, and you can’t cut it out COMPLETELY, which is why I have a few suggestions to help the process. First, try cutting down your soda intake by half per day. So if you drink 4 sodas a day, try to only drink 2. If you tend to sip on soda throughout the day, try to eliminate that completely. It is better for you to try and drink it at once when you are sitting down for a meal. Try drinking soda with a straw, it limits the contact with your teeth. Once you are finished drinking soda, immediatly rinse your mouth out water, and floss. These are all suggestions if you can’t  cut soda out completely. But next time you pick up that can full of acid and sugra, think twice about how much you love your teeth 🙂

Managing your oral health is important. Teeth is one of the few things in the body which cannot regenerate. Take care of them now, and avoid the work later in life.

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