If you stand near the entrance of any grocery store, you will see carts piled high with cases of sports drinks. Many people incorrectly believe that drinking sports drinks is healthier than water, or that they offer some nutritional benefit.
In fact, a 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains 34 grams of sugar. That is more than the recommended total daily amount of 32 grams per day! Sport drinks also pack a double punch, as they are very acidic. Gatorade contains citric acid, which wears down the enamel on teeth making them weak and susceptible to decay. The combination of sugar and acid is detrimental to your oral health and can contribute to cavities and tooth sensitivity, especially in young patients.
What are the worst drinks for acid and sugar? Gatorade or Powerade, iced tea, soda, and alcohol. Avoid these drinks if possible, but if you simply must imbibe, try to (1) rinse your mouth after drinking with a water swish, or chew sugarless gum, (2) drink them all at once, instead of slowly sipping them throughout the day, and (3) limit your consumption to when absolutely necessary.
Of course, preventative oral health is always the most important way to combat tooth decay and disease, so make sure to schedule your dental cleaning appointments regularly.
And put down that Gatorade!
You may have heard that there is no research that demonstrates flossing has oral health benefits. Although you may have felt relief for a moment, we at Sullivan Dental respectfully disagree with this claim! Our more than thirty years of experience has certainly demonstrated the benefits of daily flossing for the prevention of gingivitis and inter-proximal tooth decay.
It may be true that improper flossing or inconsistent techniques do not benefit oral health, so our registered hygienists are happy to demonstrate the correct way to floss at your next appointment. We tailor oral health care plans to the unique needs of each individual patient. It may be that a water flosser, floss threader, or floss pick may be more effective for your personal daily flossing needs. Be sure to ask what’s best for you at your next prophylaxis appointment.
And as always, we will continue to monitor dental news and help you sort through the evidence!
Have you seen your RDH lately?
What’s an RDH, you ask? Well, here’s a hint: You (hopefully!) see her every six months, and you spend more time with her than the dentist! Who are we talking about? Your personal oral wellness coach, of course, or as you better know her, your Registered Dental Hygienist.
Hygienists are licensed oral health professionals who have spent between two to four years studying anatomy, oral health and hygiene, systemic health systems, nutrition, physiology, microbiology, radiology, and many other topics. They screen for oral cancer, check your blood pressure, and scope out gum disease and decay. And about flossing….they only nag because they care: by some reports, flossing can add three years to a person’s estimated lifespan!
Dental hygienists have critical input regarding patients plans of care, and to stay educated they obtain continuing education credits by attending courses and conferences to stay current.
At Sullivan Dental, our hygienists have nearly 100 years of collective hygiene experience. Their friendly and welcoming bedside manner makes your biannual checkups stress-free and enjoyable. And next time you’re visiting your oral wellness coach—Amy, Angela, Jen, or Holly—be sure to pick their brains!