artificial sweeteners

Does My Tea or Coffee Really Need Sugar?

September 22nd, 2019

It's not a surprise that sugar is bad for our teeth, but it's sometimes hard to resist consuming each day. We are often asked, "would you like sugar in your coffee?" or "would you like sugar added to your tea?" This can lead to a spiral of adding one teaspoon of sugar to even three or four teaspoons for that perfect tasting cup of tea or coffee. It might sound like a small amount, but each day as you have your morning jump-start of caffeine it can add up and take a harmful toll on your teeth. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that the maximum amount of added sugars you should consume each day is 37.5 grams/9 teaspoons for men, and 25 grams/6 teaspoons for women. These numbers are quick to reach, for example, one can of coke contains a whopping 36 grams of sugar! According to a study conducted by Euromonitor in 2015, the United States is the #1 country that consumes the most sugar per person each day (126.4 grams). The impact of sugar on oral and overall health is significant, as sugar can increase the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and most widely known, tooth decay.

Reducing or cutting out adding sugar completely to your tea or coffee can be a great start to a healthier lifestyle. Natural sweetness such as xylitol have been found to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and can be a great alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Remember, your diet plays an important role in your dental and general health. Be sure to notice when food labels mention words such as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, or corn syrup, for instance, as these are also masked terms for sugar.

Take a look at some tips to help reduce sugar in your daily diet:

Eat a healthy breakfast

Starting the day off with a healthy filling breakfast can give you the energy you need to get through the day and help you avoid snacking throughout the day on items that may contain a lot of sugar. Try picking out cereals that have no added sugar, and having tooth-friendly items including cheese, or yogurt. It's best not to consume sugary snacks throughout the day because frequency of sugar exposure is more detrimental for your teeth than the amount of sugar consumed. When we eat sugary and acidic foods, the pH of our mouths become lower and more acidic, which can put your teeth in a weakened state. When you do need a snack, be sure to choose healthy snack options.

Note that fat free does not equal sugar free
Some items are highlighted as healthy products because they are fat-free. However, fat-free items may still contain high amounts of sugar which can negatively impact your teeth. Be sure to look at the nutrition label when buying fat-free products to see how much sugar is in them.
Avoid sticky foods
Sticky foods such as candy, and even dried fruits can become trapped within teeth and harm your tooth enamel.
Keep up with your dental visits 

Your dentist can help you keep up with maintaining your pearly-whites and ensuring that they are healthy. It is important to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist, Dr. Derek, and Dr. Emad is happy to help with your TMJ and orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs, Dr. Stephens would love to help, and our gum-specialist Dr. Singh can help with your gum-related concerns.

References:

https://www.dentalhealth.org/blog/phasing-out-our-addiction-to-sugar-one-sugarless-tea-and-coffee-at-a-time

https://coach.nine.com.au/diet/the-20-countries-who-eat-the-most-and-the-least-sugar/76adbc2d-1c89-4e7c-9693-0b875afadaad#1

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Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino? Think Twice Before You Indulge

November 12th, 2015

a-cup-of-coffee

Coffee is America’s favorite beverage, especially for early risers. Not to mention, coffee lovers have many options to choose from. From sweetened flavors like mocha, caramel swirl, and French vanilla, to the less sweet flavors of cinnamon, coconut, hazelnut, raspberry, and toasted almond.

It’s estimated that 68 percent of the American population indulge in a cup of coffee every morning to help them wake up and to keep them going throughout the day. The real question is, "Is coffee good or bad for you?"

Coffees is known to increase mental alertness, boost our concentration, and prevent the development of certain cancers and other diseases.  In addition, according to recent studies, black coffee may help fight bacteria if consumed without artificial sweeteners.

Along with some good effects, there are also many adverse effects on the body. Coffee is often associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, osteoporosis. In addition, coffee can have a negative impact on your dental health. Some studies suggest that coffee wears down tooth enamel. Weakened enamel can make teeth more vulnerable to diseases and permanent damage. Enamel is porous calcified substance made up of matrix of crystal like rods, which keeps our teeth strong. The bad part is that once your enamel is gone, you can't get it back!

Not to mention, moderate to high consumption of coffee can cause tooth discoloration, leaving your teeth stained yellow.

Many of us know that it can be hard to give up the daily dose of coffee each morning. But, there are a few preventive measures that you can take to reduce the amount of coffee you intake. This includes rinsing your mouth after drinking coffee, using proper brushing and flossing habits, and using a straw to prevent coffee from touching the surfaces of your teeth.  Also, Zoom! Whitening is a great way to keep your teeth pearly white.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://cdn1.medicalnewstoday.com/content/images/articles/297/297449/a-cup-of-coffee.jpg

 

Xylitol's Not as Sweet as You Think

March 29th, 2015

Popular among the vast array of sugar substitutes, xylitol is one of the more popular natural sweeteners commonly found in sugar-free gum, toothpaste, cosmetic gels, and sweets.

Although xylitol is not dangerous and is found to cause less damage to teeth than sugar, it isn't exactly perfect. Previously, xylitol was suggested  to reduce tooth decay by preventing the growth of acid-producing bacteria. Yet, according to the Cochrane Library,  researchers suggests that there is little evidence that xylitol is actually beneficial in reducing the prevalence of tooth decay.Many individuals turn to sugar substitutes to satisfy a "sweet tooth," even in processed foods, which can worsen the risk of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes. While it is true that Xylitol is found in nature in many plants, xylitol is also manufactured for commercial use by the process of sugar hydrogenation, which involves the compound Raney nickel. The long term effects of are not currently known.

On the negative side, xylitol is only partially broken down in the stomach, and instead remains relatively intact in the intestines. The undigested portion ferments, and can lead to stomach cramps, acid reflux, or diarrhea. No need to worry, xylitol is FDA approved and is not considered hazardous.

Researchers in a study using 5,903 participants over ten different studies were unable to prove any benefit in the natural sweetener for preventing tooth decay in children and adults. For xylitol-containing products, including sugar-free gum, researchers did not find any significant evidence. According to two Costa Rican studies involving 4,216 school children, there was low quality evidence that levels of tooth decay were 13% lower in children who used a fluoride toothpaste with xylitol for three years versus those who used a fluoride-only toothpaste.

Philip Riley, a head researcher at the School of Dentistry at The University of Manchester, said, "Several of the studies included in the Cochrane review did not report sufficient information on the side effects of xylitol, which can include bloating, diarrhea and laxative effects. Sugar-free gums, sweets, mints and other products are well-known for their gastrointestinal effects and these should be clearly reported in future studies."

So, maybe xylitol isn't all it has cracked up to be! It is important to practice good oral health habits, and only chew sugar-free gum in moderation.

Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com to set up an appointment and consultation.

Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. VanDr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150325210320.htm

http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/xylitol-not-as-sweet-as-its-cracked-up-to-be/

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ImYmiIEwXgA/U-KUWNlaxtI/AAAAAAAARMU/uKF08QOF0kQ/s1600/chewing+gum.png

High Calorie Drinks Reduced In Schools

September 6th, 2012

A while ago, we blogged about a possible sugar tax being implemented on foods with added sugar and sweeteners, such as soft drinks. It was designed to discourage both adults and children from purchasing unhealthy food and drink. Now it seems that the next step has been taken by reducing the availability of these items in schools, helping to further combat obesity.

There has been a huge reduction in drink calorie content available in schools (90%) between 2004-10. These numbers reflect the partnership between the William J. Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association with major drink companies to lessen these drinks' availability.

Vending machines in schools now look much different than in previous years. An assortment of water, milk, juice and sports drinks is what's typically available versus an assortment of sodas before. An assessment of the foods offered in school cafeterias will be underway soon as well.

As the obesity rate climbed, officials began to take notice and search for the cause. Christopher Ashley, supervisor of food and nutrition for Springfield City Schools, said:

“Nine years ago I came into this segment of food service, and you’d see a Honey Buns and two Mountain Dews for breakfast. Now kids are going through the line and getting a better breakfast. That’s just the start.”

The alliance between the William J. Clinton Foundation and beverage companies should continue to make a difference. As stated above, obesity rates have dropped significantly in the past few years. With an emphasis placed on health and wellness not just in schools, but in the media, it is believed that the rate will continue to drop. Once the school menus reflect the nutrition of the drinks, students will be at a major advantage for better overall health.

It's important to note that reducing the consumption of soft drinks will improve your smile! Drs. Ali & Ali are committed to spreading oral health awareness and urge you to opt for healthier drinks that don't damage teeth. Feel free to contact us with any questions at 781-237-9071 or smile@wellesleydentalgroup.com.

 

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