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Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Maple Doughnuts, Other Fall Favorites and Your Teeth

As American as apple pie, Starbucks serving pumpkin spice lattes in September is the start of the fall season in our busy city. While pumpkin patches and apple farms are tucked away upstate, we can all enjoy their delicious flavors swirled into our beer, coffee, and pies. While it may be the best time to gorge on pumpkin everything, be mindful of the ingredients that go into making some of these fall classics.

  1. Pumpkin spice latte

Let’s get the most painful news out first. Pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks contain roughly 49 grams of sugar. This is more than your recommended daily intake of sugar. These refined sugars along with coffee’s staining pigments can be quite detrimental effect on your teeth. PSL’s, therefore, shouldn’t be a daily staple in your morning routine.

So, treat yourself, just in moderation. It’ll make the taste that much more rewarding.

   2. Pumpkin beer

Shot of vanilla vodka. Cinnamon sugar-rimmed glass. A cool refreshing Shipyard. And, college football on TV. This is a tradition honored throughout the country. Again, while great in moderation (especially so with vodka and beer), beer can cause the pH in your mouth to become quite acidic and, as a result, wear down enamel. However, interestingly enough, hops were introduced in beers for their antibacterial qualities and scientists showed their flowers could help reduce the harmful bacteria that nest in your mouth. Again, enjoy in moderation.

  3. Apple pie

Following a similar theme, apple pie is made scrumptious thanks to the sugars (natural and added) and flavorings used to make one. Simple sugars are easily broken down in your mouth and can stick to your teeth, providing a convenient platform for plaque to build up. While eating an entire apple pie is not recommended for your overall health (certain exceptions for Thanksgiving), the consumption of a slice of apple pie is perfectly fine as long as you enjoy it like you would any other dessert.

  4. Maple doughnuts

I don’t know about you but it seems like I could inhale a box of these when I get them from the farm. Maple doughnuts have a sweet, maple glaze to give them a taste as gentle and smooth as a maple leaf drifting to the floor. While calories don’t count with maple doughnuts (right? right?), the sugar used to make the doughnuts and the maple glaze can be harmful to your teeth.

So, maybe consider eating only half the box now and half the box for dessert…