How sweet is your drink? Sugar and your teeth.

How many teaspoons of sugar are in a can of coke?  Would your guess be 2, 3 or maybe 4?  Would you be surprised if we told you 10?  Let’s have a look at the amount of sugar present in some of the most common drinks available.

It may be shocking to know that there is approximately 10 teaspoons in each and every can of Coke, but it may be equally shocking to know that many common juices have even higher sugar content than Coke. Yup, in addition to the other general health impacts such amount of sugar will do to you, that’s a lot of sugar to feed decay causing bacteria to create dental decay.

We tend to think of the new generations of children since water fluoridation was introduced in the 1970’s as having better dental health than previous generations.  Recent trends however show that dental decay is trending higher in children despite all the benefits of water fluoridation.  Our diet has a big role to play in this trend.

The pattern of damaged caused by sugared drinks is widespread decay on many surfaces of the teeth.  The sad consequences of teenagers and those in their 20’s drinking heavily sugared drinks frequently is that it sets up a lifelong path of frequent and complex dental treatment.  This an issue that The Smile Team wants to be very active in helping our patients to become aware of and prevent.  Tooth decay is preventable disease, and we’re ready to help.

The Harvard School of Public Health compared some of the most popular drinks available on the market for a drink serving of 12 ounces which is equivalent to our 375ml.  Red ratings were given to damaging drinks.  Green ratings were given to healthy drinks.

Some of the worst drinks per sugar content include Fanta at 10 teaspoons of sugar, Orange Juice at 10 teaspoons, Pepsi and Coke at 10 teaspoons, Red Bull at 10 teaspoons.  A smoothie not disimilar to those available at Juice bars came in at 15 teaspoons as well.  A full list can be found here.

The best drink for your dental health is always water, tap, followed by bottled, and preferably unflavoured.

It’s also important not to forget that acidic drinks are also an important consideration for deciding how damaging your drink is to your oral health.  Acidic drinks can essentially wash/erode away natural tooth enamel which is lost for ever.  We’ll try to cover acidic drinks in a future blog article.

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