Halloween Sugar Facts

KatieM

Katie Moynihan, BS RDH

Halloween Sugar Facts

Happy Halloween! Although Halloween is a fun holiday to dress up in your favorite costume, it also comes with consuming large amounts of candy and sugar. According to the US Census Bureau, the average American eats 25 pounds of candy every year with most of that consumed during Halloween time. All that sugar hidden in a small piece of candy can add up quickly. If you or your child eats 12 treats, that is equivalent to about 30 packets of sugar. It is important to take a closer look at the nutritional facts before indulging as it is guaranteed to spook you!

Halloween Candy Comparison

  • Almond Joy, Snack Size – 80 calories, 8 g sugar
  • Butterfinger, Fun Size – 100 calories, 10 g sugar
  • Gummie Bears (Haribo) – 8 pieces, around 65 calories, 21 g sugar
  • Heath Bar, Snack Size – 76 calories, 9 g sugar
  • Hershey Kisses – Average 25 calories, 2-3 g sugar each kiss
  • Hershey’s Miniature Bars – Average 42 calories, 4 g sugar each bar
  • Jolly Rancher – a serving of three Jolly Ranchers is 70 calories, 11 g of sugar.
  • Kit Kat, Fun size – 60 calories, 6 g sugar
  • Peanut M & Ms –  Snack Sixe – 5 g of fat and 9 g of sugar.
  • Almond Joy – Fun Size – 80 calories for a mini-Almond Joy or Mounds.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, Snack Size – 110 calories, 11 g sugar per peanut butter cup
  • Skittles, Fun Size – 60 calories, 11 g sugar
  • Smarties – 1 roll, 25 calories, 6 g sugar
  • Snickers, Fun Size – 80 calories, 4 g of fat and 8 g of sugar
  • Sour Patch Kids, Mini Bag – 50 calories, 10 g sugar
  • Starburst, Fun Size – 2 candies, 40 calories, 6 g sugar
  • Three Musketeers Minis – 64 calories, 2 g of fat and 11 g of sugar
  • Tootsie Pops & Charms Blow Pops – 60 calories, 13 g of sugar.
  • Twix Minis, 1 bar – 50 calories, 5 g sugar
  • Twizzlers (Strawberry Twists) – 2 pieces, 50 calories and 6 g sugar

We all know it is nearly impossible to avoid Halloween candy altogether; however, there are some simple ways in which you can minimize the sugar overload after trick-or-treating is over. Always be sure to brush away the treats! Whether your child eats one piece of candy or ten, it is important to brush properly to prevent tooth decay. Make a candy plan to avoid going overboard with candy consumption. Set a limit on the number of candy that can be eaten each day, or a limit on the number of houses that they can visit. A candy swap is a great way to let your child enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without overloading on sweets. You can trade small amounts of candy for a non-sugar reward such as a toy or sticker. We hope these tips will get you on track to a happier and healthier Halloween!

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.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/cavities/article/how-to-prevent-cavities-from-halloween-candy-1013

http://www.childrenshospitaloakland.org/main/news/halloween-candy-calorie-and-sugar-comparison-212.aspx

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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?

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Andra Mahoney, BS RDH

What is Xylitol?

What if I told you there was a sugar that actually prevents cavities?  Would you believe me?  Well, you should!  And it called Xylitol (pronounced zai-li-tall).

What is Xylitol?

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener found in plants, fruits, and vegetables.  It looks and tastes just like sugar (sucrose).  Xylitol has about a third the calories as table sugar, and is a healthy alternative for diabetics. Not only does it make an excellent sugar substitute, but it aids in the prevention of dental caries, and reduces plaque formation.

How does it help prevent cavities?

Everyone has bacteria in their mouth all the time.  Bacteria is highly attracted to the sugars found in the foods and beverages that we eat and drink.  Most people think this means sweets, candies, etc.  While that is true, it also can mean carbohydrates (which are complex sugars) or fruit (which has fructose, a sugar) or any number of things.  The bacteria in our mouths eat all those sugars and excrete acid.  That acid is what causes cavities.

Now bacteria is way more attracted to xylitol than regular sugar.  The Bacteria head right for xylitol!  But bacteria cannot break down xylitol.  Meaning if they can’t “eat” it, they can’t excrete it.  The bacteria dies not able to make acid to cause cavities.  That is how xylitol can help prevent cavities!

How does it help dry mouth?

Many things, including prescription medications, can cause dry mouth.  But why is dry mouth such a big deal?  Dry mouth can effect you quality of life!  It decreases your ability to taste.  It can cause bad breathe.  It can make eating difficult.  It can make talking difficult.  It can even significantly increase your susceptibility to getting cavities!

Xylitol has a cooling effect, quenching the burning of dry mouth.  Xylitol also stimulates saliva flow, which fixes all of the problems previously mentioned.  Xylitol is also an humectant, which means it attracts moisture.  And Xylitol neutralized saliva’s pH.  An acid pH leads to dry mouth, a basic pH can lead to an overgrowth of plaque bacteria.  Nice neutral pH is where your mouth is the happiest!

Who can have Xylitol?

Xylitol is safe for all ages!  Great for the whole family!

Even diabetics can use xylitol.  “The body does not require insulin to metabolize xylitol. For this reason polyols like xylitol produce a lower glycemic response than sucrose or glucose. This has made xylitol a widely used sweetener for the diabetic diet in some countries. If you do have diabetes, however, it’s important to consult your doctor or diet professional before incorporating xylitol into your daily diet. (1)”

And, like chocolate, onions, raisins, or avocados, xylitol is not safe for our 4-legged furry family members.  Please do not share it with them.

Where can you find Xylitol?

Xylitol can be found in a wide array of products.  Most commonly, chewing gum, candies, and mints.  It is also found in tooth pastes, mouth sprays, and even as granulated crystals to replace table sugar.

Hope this has been informative and you have found a new way to incorporate the many benefits of Xylitol in your life!

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

http://www.xlear.com

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

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 5.03.12 PM

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

Sugar

Arianna Headshot

Arianna Marsden RDH

 

sugar

With all the candy that has come into our homes as a result of trick or treating, now seems like a great time of year to review strategies for preventing cavities.  Cavities are caused by acid-producing-bacteria that are present in our mouths.  Bacteria consume the sugars in the foods we eat and produce acid.  This acid produced by bacteria in our mouths softens the hardest outer layer of our teeth, the enamel, and causes tooth decay or cavities.  Some of the best ways to prevent cavities are to eat sugars in moderation, limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid, and practicing proper oral health habits.

In order to prevent cavities, it’s important to eat sugars in moderation.  The sugars being referred to be not just the sugars found in candies and soda, but also natural sugars such as those found in fruits and nuts!  Bacteria are not picky about the type of sugar they like to eat, and will produce enamel-softening acid even from something as healthy as sugar in an apple.  Keep in mind that while fruits are important for a healthy diet, how frequently these sugars are consumed plays a big part in their capacity to cause cavities.  This is why it’s important to limit the amount of time our teeth are exposed to acid.

When sugar is eaten, acid-levels in the mouth spike for a period of about one hour before they are neutralized again by the saliva.  The longer sugar is in contact with our teeth, the longer bacteria have a chance to produce acid.  Sticky candies, like sugared fruit snacks, caramels, or lollipops should be avoided, because they tend to stick to the teeth for a longer period of time.

4907_lollipop

Another factor that causes acid-levels in the mouth to stay high is grazing on candy throughout the day.  This grazing-style of eating prevents the saliva from being able to neutralize the acid levels in the mouth, as they are continuously spiking from the intake of sugar.  This high acid-level environment is the perfect storm for causing cavities, but there are some strategies we can use to assist our saliva in neutralizing the acid-level in our mouths.  Drinking a glass of water, or thoroughly brushing teeth after eating sugar are great for neutralizing acid.  Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after eating has also been shown to stimulate saliva flow and quickly neutralize the acid-level in our mouths.

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We should be brushing our teeth at least twice a day, with a soft toothbrush and a small, pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste.  Flossing at least once a day is critical for removing plaque bacteria from between the teeth.  Brushing and flossing removes plaque bacteria from our teeth, and fewer bacteria present in our mouths means less potential acid that can be produced.  Fluoride has been demonstrated to dramatically reduce the damage caused by cavities, and when used properly, is a great strategy for preventing cavities.

Fluoride in our toothpaste and water at home can help prevent cavities, as well as professional fluoride treatments provided at the dentist’s office.

toothbrush-and-toothpaste-and-floss

Being selective about the types of candy that we are giving to our trick or treaters, when and how much candy we are eating, and being especially conscientious about our oral health practices will be helpful strategies in preventing cavities this holiday season.

 

Want to learn more? Visit us at

http://www.shalimarfamilydentistry.com

http://www.northstapleydentalcare.com

http://www.alamedadentalaz.com

 

Sources

https://www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/caring-for-teeth/sugar-free-chewing-gum

http://www.deltadentalins.com/oral_health/halloweendw.html

http://www.rudyard.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/toothbrush-and-toothpaste-and-floss.jpg

http://i3.dainikbhaskar.com/thumbnail/300×259/web2images/www.dailybhaskar.com/2014/05/15/4907_lollipop.jpg

http://stayhealthyla.org/blog/uploads//2010/03/sugar.jpg

https://www.dentalhealth.org/uploads/images/chewinggumchart.jpg

 

 

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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