06 Oct Mountain Dew Mouth
Do you “do the DEW”? If so, beware! Dentists use the term “Mountain Dew Mouth” to describe patients whose teeth are brown and eroding from the high levels of sugar found in soft drinks, particularly Mountain Dew. Each 20oz. bottle of the popular, highly caffeinated soft drink contains 77 grams of sugar…that is nearly 19 teaspoons of sugar, one of the highest sugar contents of any soda on the market!
All regular soft drinks have sugar, and all sugar causes tooth decay and has calories. With each sip, the sugar combines with bacteria in the mouth and forms acid. This acid attacks the enamel of your teeth, weakening it. Once the enamel is damaged, the bacteria cause cavities. Kids and teens are especially at risk because their enamel isn’t fully developed, and they are drinking three times more pop than 20 years ago. Unfortunately, drinking diet soda may cut the sugar and calories but won’t cut the risk of decay. Although these beverages use sugar substitutes, the carbonation and the phosphoric acid attack your teeth in the same way.
We won’t sugar coat it. Sugar goes by many names. We are familiar with sucrose and fructose, but did you know that beet juice is also a sugar? Read the labels. Dehydrated cane juice, maltose, turbinado sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, concentrated pear juice, levulose and concentrated apple juice are all sugar in disguise. Artificial sweeteners like equal, aspartame, sorbitol, mannitol, Sucralose and sugar alcohols that are found in diet soda and other diet products are not known to contribute to tooth decay, although their health ‘benefits’ are debated. There is some scientific evidence, however, that Xylitol (found in Orbit gum) can actually prevent tooth decay!
Be kind to those pearly whites, and choose other beverages to hydrate your body. Again, read labels. Become familiar with the sugar content of your sports drinks, natural fruit juices, and other flavored beverages. And, drink water! It has zero fat, zero sugar and zero calories. And, your body needs it to function at its best. If you must have a pop, use a straw to reduce contact with your teeth. And, of course, brush and floss daily!
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