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Pumpkin Spice Lattes: How Good (or Bad) Are They for Your Teeth?

September 30, 2020 | General Dentistry Services | The Office of Palisades Dentists

3 Minute Read: 

Fall is full of fun activities and events, such as pumpkin patches, Halloween, and apple picking. Additionally, when we think of fall, we often think about the delicious treats there are to enjoy. 

Pumpkin spice latte in a glass mug with cinnamon, nutmeg and cookies

Some people wait all year for Starbucks to bring back their beloved pumpkin spice latte. However, have you ever considered the effect that this delicious drink can have on your teeth? 

Unfortunately, some of the ingredients that make pumpkin spice lattes so delicious can be harmful to your teeth and even lead to tooth decay. 

What Does Sugar Do to Your Teeth?

We all know that sugar is the leading cause of tooth decay. After all, we have always been told that sugar is the reason we get cavities. A grande size (16 fl oz) of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte contains 50 grams of sugar. 

This is way above the recommended amount of sugar to consume per day. And, over time, consuming large amounts of sugar can increase your chances of tooth decay and cavities. 

What Does Coffee Do to Your Teeth? 

Not only is a pumpkin spice latte a delicious treat on a cold fall morning, but it actually can keep you energized due to the amount of coffee that it contains. However, coffee tends to stain your teeth, causing them to appear dark and yellow. 

Many people wonder why they are unable to achieve white teeth even with constant brushing and whitening treatments. Coffee, wine, and smoking are the main culprits of stained teeth. So, unfortunately, your pumpkin spice latte may be contributing to your dingy smile. 

Should You Still Enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte? 

After learning about how pumpkin spice lattes can be detrimental to your oral health, you may be wondering if enjoying this delicious fall treat is still a good idea. If you follow these easy steps, there should be no reason why you cannot enjoy your favorite fall treats (in moderation, of course). 

Brush Your Teeth 

Brushing your teeth thirty minutes after enjoying a pumpkin spice latte can help get rid of the sugar particles that stick to your teeth, reducing the risk of dental decay. Additionally, brushing your teeth with a whitening toothpaste can help eliminate staining by removing leftover coffee while simultaneously whitening your teeth.  

Visit Your Dentist Regularly 

Visiting your dentist regularly can help catch dental problems before they become too big. Even with proper brushing and flossing, plaque buildup is inevitable and can only be properly removed by a dental professional. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help reduce the risk of major dental problems in the future and help remove all plaque and tartar from your teeth. 

You may also want to consider a professional dental whitening treatment to eliminate pesky coffee stains.

Interested in Learning More? 

If you are interested in learning more about how you can improve your dental health, schedule an appointment with the Palisades Dentists by calling 310-459-2303 or by filling out our online contact form.