With the sunny days of summer ending, autumn is quickly approaching and that means all things pumpkin spice flavored hitting the shelves!
This popular fall flavor has gained mass popularity within the past few years. Research from Nielsen found that pumpkin flavored items rose by 11.6% in 2015. Forbes magazine found similar results, estimating a $500 million in sales a season due to the “pumpkin spice” economy.
From pumpkin-flavored snacks to baby food, there’s no shortage of options to indulge in this cozy season. But what does it mean for your dental health?
3 Reasons to Ditch Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Pumpkin may be the perfect flavor to get in the spirit of fall, but it certainly isn’t the best option for your smile! There are plenty of reasons to ditch your PSLs (or pumpkin spice lattes) for healthier options. In terms of your dental health, here’s a look at the top three ways pumpkin spice lattes can be detrimental to your smile:
Excess Sugar: Did you know that a standard 16-ounce pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks has 50 grams of sugar? Consuming this much sugar isn’t just hazardous to your overall health, it can also be destructive for your dental health. When we consume sugar, bacteria in the mouth will metabolize and create an acid as a by-product. Acids in the mouth can irritate the gum tissue and lead to the demineralization of the teeth.
Acidity: Aside from the added sugar that increases acidity in the mouth, the coffee itself is also acidic. As we mentioned before, this acidity will lead to enamel erosion, which will then leave you susceptible to tooth decay.
Tooth Stains: The dark color of this espresso beverage can also cause stains to your smile. The outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel, has a porous surface where dark pigment can easily get trapped. After enough time, dark beverages can cause your smile to look yellowish.
Try Real Pumpkin to Enjoy Dental Benefits
If you want to enjoy the pumpkin taste without all the added sugar, try opting for real pumpkin! This fall fruit is vitamin-packed and can actually benefit your dental health in the following ways:
Fiber: Pumpkins have a ton of fiber! Fiber-rich foods are beneficial for dental health because they stimulate saliva. Saliva can help neutralize acids in the mouth and act as a natural defense against tooth decay.
Zinc: Want to heal your inflamed gums? Pumpkin is rich in zinc, which plays an important role in the healing process of the soft tissues affected by gum disease.
Vitamin C: In addition to zinc, vitamin C is important for healing gums inflamed by periodontal disease. Since vitamin C is so important for fighting off infection, patients who suffer from gum disease should be sure to eat fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C.
Contact Amherst Village Dental
From all of us here at Amherst Village Dental, we wish you a wonderful start to autumn. Be sure to maintain your healthy smile even through the pumpkin spice season! If you’re in need of any dental services, don’t hesitate to contact our office.
We offer a range of services including family, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. To get started, contact our office today and schedule your next appointment with Dr. Ang.