How much sugar is in popular drinks?

You've heard it many times before from your dentist, and maybe your parents: sugary beverages are not good for your teeth. What's even worse than chugging soda quickly when you want one, is slowly sipping on them all day long. There are a lot of reasons why these sugar-loaded drinks are bad for your health, but they also cause a negative impact on your mouth. Here we'll explore some of the worst sodas for your teeth, and why they why they aren't good for you.

 Why sugar damages your teeth

Bacteria that produce acid thrive on the sugar in your mouth, and the more sugar you have in your mouth, the more that bacteria will multiply and the greater your risk cavities. This can eventually lead to tooth decay and cause your teeth to become sensitive due to the loss of enamel. However, there are a few things that you can do to prevent this and still enjoy your soda, juice, and energy drinks.

Turn your sugary beverages into a treat and drink them moderately. When you do drink them, don't sip on them for hours—that results in sugar in your mouth longer (more food for bacteria!). After you're done, and even while you're enjoying it, drink some water to help flush the sugar from your mouth. Brushing your teeth about an hour after consuming a sugary drink will help control sugar and bacteria too. Talk to your dentist about the best toothpastes and methods for brushing your teeth.

The sugar in any drink is going to depend on the brand and the size. The website Sugar Stacks breaks down the sugar in various products in an easy to understand way: by showing you how many sugar cubes it equals. The results can be somewhat surprising and shocking at times.

Coca Cola is the most popular soda in the U.S. Here are the sugar totals for three common sizes of Coke that you can buy:

12oz can: 39g total sugar20oz bottle: 65g total sugar1 liter bottle: 108g total sugar

12oz can: 39g total sugar20oz bottle: 65g total sugar1 liter bottle: 108g total sugar

While the photo above only focuses on Coca Cola, it is by no means the only—or the worst—sugary drink. Mountain Dew, a Pepsi product, has 15% more sugar than Coca Cola, for example.

In restaurants and at convenience stores, ice will take up some space in a cup or glass, but that only cuts down on some of the sugar. If you drink the entire beverage, even watered down, it is going to be loaded with sugar.

Cream soda has been listed as one of the worst sodas when it comes to sugar. A twelve ounce can of certain brands of cream soda will have 49g of total sugar. And just because the soda doesn't have caffeine—like root beer—does not mean it is a healthier option when it comes to sugar count.

The best rule you can follow is to be mindful of what you are drinking and check the label for sugar content. Juices, energy drinks, flavored waters, and more will have lots of sugars that can have a negative impact on your mouth. Drink them in moderation, if at all. Talk to your dentist about what you can start doing today to combat the damage sugar can cause!

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