It’s fall, yippee! This means that fast food restaurants, cafes, and the like are all getting their autumn mojos on (well, they technically already did on September 1st but you get the picture.) Pumpkin spice lattes are almost as prevalent as falling leaves and iced coffee is being replaced with hot brews. It’s lovely. Wanna know what else is lovely? You can enjoy delicious fall drinks without harming your teeth! There are just a couple of rules to keeping your mouth happy during this magical time.
Fall drinks to have in moderation
There’s nothing wrong with guzzling a sugary drink every now and then. After all, PSLs and hot ciders are staples of fall and it’s not fun to miss out on having them. But we must stress the “every now and then” part. The ever-loved sweet crystalline substance known as sugar can directly cause tooth decay if consumed in excess. Not a new fact but sometimes, sugar’s reputation can hide behind the assumption that if it comes from natural sources such as fruit, it’s okay to ingest more frequently. Not so. Sugar, natural or refined, can negatively impact the body if not mitigated by fibre. And regardless of whether it comes from fruit or syrup, it can wreak havoc on teeth because it produces acids that break down enamel.
Another common tooth decay culprit is alcohol. In fact, drinking it can be worse than, say, double-double coffee because its sugar content and tendency to dehydrate the body work together. By reducing saliva production and staining teeth, our pearly whites are often unable to defend themselves during a booze blitz. Adding sweet cider or pumpkin flavours to these already-sugar-laden drinks can make things even worse if you have one too many of them. However, a healthy diet, daily oral hygiene practices, and routine dental appointments make having the occasional apple cider mimosa okay.
Here’s our list of yummy fall drinks that should be enjoyed in moderation:
- Pumpkin spice latte
- Hot chocolate
- Pumpkin spice hot chocolate
- Apple cider cocktails
- Apple pie sangria
- Salted caramel latte
- Earl grey latte
- Tea with added sugar
- Coffee with added sugar
Drinks to savour again and again
If you’re a fan of more earthy flavours, you’re gonna be happy to know you can enjoy warm drinks like black coffee and tea fairly frequently. Even though these can be acidic their lack of sugar and alcohol render them safe to consume on a more regular basis.
However, if you can’t go without some sweetness, we understand. The good news is that you don’t have to go without your favourite syrupy delights or even drastically reduce your intake of them if you simply make them with less sugar. Indeed, compromise is required, but having a smaller salted caramel latte with less syrup and no whipped cream can still provide sufficient fall flavour.
Drinks to enjoy more frequently
- Black coffee
- Black tea
- Earl grey tea (little or no sugar added)
- Pumpkin spice tea (little or no sugar added)
- Earl grey latte (reduced syrup and no whipped cream)
- Pumpkin spice latte (reduced syrup and no whipped cream)
- Salted caramel latte (reduced syrup and no whipped cream)
We love fall and all the great treats that come with it. Naturally, autumn beverages tend to have their share ingredients that your teeth won’t like, but this doesn’t mean you have to give them up. By enjoying them sensibly and properly caring for your mouth each day there’s nothing wrong with soaking up the pumpkin spice while it lasts.