When Dr. John got out of dental school in 1986, researchers were predicting the end of dental decay within a generation. Fluoridated water, public health campaigns and a “vaccine” for dental decay seemed to indicate that cavities would soon become a thing of the past.
The advent of sweetened drinks and high fructose corn syrup has changed everything. Every day in our practice we find dental decay likely due to soda consumption, or more recently, “sports” drinks. Even “healthy” drinks like orange and cranberry juice are high in sugar content.
The Harvard School of Public Health recently released a handy guide to the amount of sugar and calories in soda, juice, sports drinks, and other popular beverages, How Sweet Is It? The front of the guide graphically depicts the number of teaspoons of sugar found in various drinks.
The back of the guide has a more comprehensive list of common beverages and their sugar and calorie content. The guide includes beverages that are sweetened with added sugars, as well as beverages that are naturally high in sugar, such as juice. It does not include “diet” drinks that are partly or entirely sweetened with artificial sweeteners or stevia (a natural calorie-free sweetener).
As you review the guide, keep the following in mind:
If your goal is to keep your teeth as long as you can, our role is to help you understand the causes of dental disease. Sugar combined with dental plaque causes cavities – simple as that. Monitor the sugar in your diet by knowing what you are drinking.
For more tips and information on sugar, and how much is safe, click here!