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How Hot Drinks Affect Your Teeth During Pumpkin Spice Season

October 13, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — dentaldynamics @ 7:53 pm
Seasonal hot drinks and other fall treats

One of the best ways to warm up during the cooler fall and winter months is to sip on a delicious seasonal beverage. From hot chocolate, warm apple cider, and pumpkin spice lattes, there are plenty of hot drinks to cozy up with on the couch as the year comes to a close. However, have you ever stopped to wonder “Are hot drinks bad for my teeth?” Read on to discover how your favorite fall beverages are impacting your oral health and what you should be doing to keep your smile healthy throughout pumpkin spice season!

Sweet Seasonal Drinks & Tooth Decay

It’s common knowledge that drinking too many sugary fall-flavored beverages can leave you with a mouth full of cavities. However, not only is there an abundance of sweetened drinks available this time of year, but the cold weather encourages many of us to sip on our drinks all day or night long. Exposing your teeth to sugary drinks for long periods of time increases your risk of tooth decay even more than if you had consumed the same beverage in a short amount of time.

Strong Beverages & Staining

Seasonal coffees and holiday teas are popular choices for fending off the early morning chill this time of year. However, both of these drinks contain special molecules called tannins. These dark-colored particles can seep into your enamel, where they are notorious for causing enamel stains that are resistant to toothbrushing.

Pumpkin Spice & Enamel Erosion

Sugars and stains aren’t the only problems that hot drinks can cause you this season. Apple cider, spiced hot rum, coffee, and yes, even the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, can cause serious damage to your enamel. These drinks are highly acidic, which means they can burn through your enamel very quickly. This leaves your pearly whites susceptible to tooth decay and discoloration as well as becoming chipped, cracked, or sensitive.

Tips for Keeping Your Smile Healthy This Season

Thankfully, you can continue to enjoy all your favorite hot drinks this fall while protecting your teeth with a few simple precautions, such as:

  • Use a straw: Drinking through a straw will minimize contact between your teeth and the sugars, acids, and tannins in your beverage.
  • Drink lots of water: Drinking water during with or after your hot drink will wash away lingering residue and keep your teeth clean.
  • Schedule your biannual dental checkup: Now is a great time to schedule your second dental checkup of the year! Your dentist can help keep your mouth healthy with preventive care and early detection so your smile will stay healthy and happy throughout the holidays.

While your pumpkin spice latte may not be a great choice for your teeth, you don’t have to give up your favorite fall beverages to keep your smile healthy! You can maintain excellent oral health all year long as long as you are mindful about how you’re enjoying your seasonal hot drinks.

About the Author

Dr. Jon Davidson has been practicing dentistry since 1995, and has been serving the smiles of Skokie, IL from his practice Dental Dynamics since 2002. He strives to help each of his patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health throughout every season of life. With a combination of reliable preventive care, the latest dental techniques and technology, and a team of highly trained dental professionals, he can help you prevent or overcome nearly any oral health issue. To learn more, he can be contacted via his website or at (847) 329-9801.

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