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Summertime, lazy days sipping something deliciously sweet!! Hurray!!!

Well, I hate to spoil your fun, but this kind of summer will deliver you, in the fall, to Dr. Anderson’s dental chair to take care of a few cavities! Hydration is critical during these hot summer days. So school’s out, pools are open, the beach is calling your name, what’s a thirsty person to do?

Let me back up here a little and give you a short background on those sweet drinks we so love to sip on a hot day. The average American drinks 50 gallons of soda and other sweetened beverages each year. This is the equivalent of 34lbs of sugar! For example; a regular 20 oz cola has 68 grams of sugar equaling 17 teaspoons of table sugar. For every 4 grams of sugar on the label of your soda, tea, or lemonade you are consuming 1 teaspoon of sugar. That may not sound like a lot at first, but try this little experiment on your own or with your kids this summer:

  1. Find a favorite summer drink.
  2. Look at the label and find the grams of sugar per serving. (Note: your drink may be intended for more than one serving!)
  3. Now multiply this amount by 4. Measure this number using table sugar. (ie: 20 grams of sugar on label , measure 5 teaspoons of table sugar in a glass or on the table.)


  1. Take a realistic look at the amount of sugar you are consuming with your beverage of choice.


Here are a few tips from theADAto reduce your risk of tooth decay and still drink that amazing bottle of sugar:

  1. Drink with a meal. (Saliva increases during meals and helps neutralize acid (see our April blog for details on acid content).


  1. Limit sugary drinks between meals. This includes sports drinks, juice, and milk shakes.


  1. Chew sugarless gum that has the ADA Seal.  “Chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals has been shown to reduce tooth decay.”


  1. Drink water. (Yes boring water.)


Since the average adult needs 9 – 13 cups of fluids every day, let’s get back to the question of “what is a thirsty person to do?”. If water is just not your cup of tea (or soda), try brewing one of the wonderful flavors of herbal tea found on the grocery store shelves. Make ice tea out of it or ice cubes to flavor your water. Drink sensibly. A straw helps, but following the steps from the ADAis extremely important.  Soda does not quench your thirst or rehydrate the body. They are addictive and can increase your thirst. Water is the only thing your body is craving in the heat! Diet soda’s are not always the answer either. They are not a healthy drink alternative and artificial sweeteners have yet to be proven 100% safe. Moderation here is very important!

I have listed a few resources below that will give you further details. “Sugar Shockers!” has several wonderful charts with total calories, grams of sugar and teaspoons of sugar. I found this information very useful while researching for this blog.

     Until next month…………..Happy Flossing

“Snack and Sip All Day? Risk Decay! (brochure you can pick up in our office)   “Sugar Content of Popular Sweetened Beverages Based on Objective laboratory Analysis: Focus on Fructose Content. [table 2; page 4]  “Re-think your Drink “Be Sugar Savvy” Activities