Question; Is squash bad for your teeth?
Today, over 17 million litres of squash are consumed each year, though it’s hard to imagine the recipe is very similar to that used in the early days. The biggest difference over the years is the way the company are using less sugar. It’s hard to tell which squash you might want to stick to. There is a regular option, a no-added sugar option and a “0% sugar” option. Confused? Let’s dive in..
Regular squash contains a long list of ingredients including ‘added vitamins and zinc’. There is no surprise that one of the main ingredients in it is water. Another main ingredient is sugar, but how much sugar? The nutrition label shows there is 5.8g in a 250ml drink if you make it up according to the label which allows 20 servings from a one-litre bottle. So well over a teaspoon per drink. Low in comparison to other brands. What is apparent is, squash contains aspartame and acesulfame K, both of which are about 200 times sweeter than sugar.
The list of ingredients in the ‘no-added sugar’ option doesn’t vary too much from the regular version. Yes, there is no sugar in a bottle but the other ingredients are much the same. The taste comes from artificial sweeteners.
With the ‘0% sugar’, the big difference is the addition of steviol glycosides and sucralose. These “natural” sweeteners are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar. It would be far better to just buy some orange juice and add water to it.
So is it bad for my teeth? Unfortunately, in short, yes. It can cause enamel erosion and tooth decay due to their high acidity. This is because sugar-free beverages contain phosphoric acid, a highly corrosive acid that weakens and erodes enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. Over time, drinking sugar-free drinks will start to expose your dentin. As a result, your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold food and drinks and more susceptible to cavities.
If you want to continue to drink them, there are ways you can protect your enamel;
- Consume these drinks during meals
- Drink through a straw
- Wait 30 mins before brushing your teeth
- Rinse your mouth with water
Whether you decide to drink these or not, practicing good oral hygiene should be one of your top priorities. In addition to brushing twice daily and make sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and thorough cleaning.