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Time to go back to school!!!

The day has finally arrived for all parents to rejoice with the kids going back to school. Yet, back to school also means back to schedules, early mornings rushing out the door, and having to think about lunch and snack options.


We do see an increase in gingivitis and cavities during the summer months. This is often due to floss going on vacation when you and the kids are sipping sweet tea and lemonade on those lazy hazy days of summer. The school season brings it’s own challenges for your oral health. So how do you keep your teeth and gums healthy during hectic school and after school activities?


First lets talk about how quickly plaque forms and why it is so important to have a twice a day oral health routine for the whole family. The name of the game here is “Defeat Plaque”. This sounds corny but this is your motivation. Plaque begins to form within minutes after you brush. It starts out as a positive reservoir for fluoride, calcium and phosphate deposits. These strengthen the teeth and protect the teeth from cavities. The down side of plaque is within a few hours the good bacteria turns into bad bacteria collecting carbohydrates that turn into acid.


What is a parent to do? Encouraging brushing in the morning is challenging but important. Listerine swishing for your teenager before school is better than doing nothing, but not a substitute for the toothbrush. Check out Listerine Zero for a non-alcohol solution. (Stop by our office for $1 off coupons.) Listerine has the best research with evidence to prove Listerine does what is claims to do.


Packing lunches is a tough one for those picky eaters. Try to avoid sticky additions to their lunch like fruit snacks. Apples are a great lunch item because they are crunchy and can help with plaque removal. Try to stress the need for a big swish of water after lunch. This will dilute the carbohydrates and give the teeth a little fluoride to combat the acid attack. If snacking after school is unavoidable encourage water swishing and drinking while snacking. Discourage soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, chocolate milk and some flavored water.


Speaking of the drinks our kids consume; I have listed a few examples of some popular drinks and their acid content.



Sports Drinks


                                   pH     tsp of sugar

Gatorade Clear           2.4         5.5

Propel                         3.2         0.4

Powerade                   2.8         3.6

Energy Drinks


                                     pH    tsp of sugar

5-Hour Energy              3.0        0

Powerade Energy          3.9        4.2

Red Bull                        3.3        6.4






                                     pH    tsp of sugar

Capri Sun                      2.6          5.5

V8 Berry Splash           3.1          5.5

Minute Maid OJ           2.8          11.2




                                     pH    tsp of sugar

Coke                             2.5           9.3

Nestea Sweet Tea         2.9           7

Dr. Pepper                    3.4           9.5

Other liquids



Stomach Acid      1.0   

Lemon juice         2.0

Coffee                  5.5

Cow’s Milk          6.4

Soy Milk              7.0


Feel free to contact our office for a larger list of beverages; the pH, teaspoons of sugar, and grams of sugar per serving.

Happy new school year!

“Give me an N, give me an O, give me a C, give me an A, give me a V, give me an I, give me a TIES. What does it spell?

No Cavities!!!!!