We’ve all seen trends come and go through the years. Today I’d like to discuss Xylitol, oil pulling, and sports and energy drinks.
Xylitol is a naturally occurring carbohydrate, that looks and tastes just like regular table sugar. It is widely used as a sugar substitute and found in “sugar-free” chewing gum, mints, and other candies. It is added to oral care products to prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. Xylitol tastes sweet, but unlike sugar, it is not converted in the mouth to acids that cause tooth decay. Xylitol is most effective when used several times a day in small amounts, after snacks or meals.
Another popular trend is oil pulling. Did you know that oil pulling dates back 3000 years? Oil pulling is a part of Ayurvedic medicine and originated in India. Oil pulling claims to help against gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath as well as benefit headaches, migraines, diabetes mellitus, asthma, and acne. The act of swishing or “pulling the oil” through the teeth and mouth claims to pull toxins from the mouth and body. Recommendations include swishing for 20 minutes and then expectorate the contaminated oil following up w/ brushing and flossing. The question is, does this practice do all the things it claims? Eastern society believes it does. To date, not enough Western studies have been completed to confirm or deny the efficacy of oil pulling.
Marketing of sports drinks and energy drinks have made it possible for them to fly under the radar. But the truth is sports and energy drinks are loaded with acids and sugar. Energy drinks have boomed in popularity over the last 10 years. In an ever tired society it seems to be the easy answer for instant energy, but not without a price. Energy drinks contain dangerous amounts of caffeine (especially when consumed by children) as well as lots of sugar and acid. Sports drinks have been marketed for young athletes. Water is a far more healthy choice! So what does this mean for the teeth? Because of the high sugar and acid content along with the frequency of consumption of such products dentists are seeing an increase in decay and erosion.
Here are our tips when consuming sports/energy drinks:
• Minimize consumption
• Do not brush teeth directly after consuming one as your brushing action will wear away the weakened enamel
• Attempt to either rinse you mouth out with water or drink milk directly after (milk neutralizes acidity)
And our final tip….
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring!