You know those people who dream of Pumpkin Spice Lattes long before fall?
You crave the PSL, too, but you’re a year-round, die-hard Starbucks regular. On a daily basis, you sip through the guilt of the multitude of “sins” you know are hiding in those delicious drinks. You can easily put your dentist in South Austin completely out of your mind, but why should you? He’s got a few Starbucks workarounds you just might love…without the guilt.
SURVIVING THE SUGAR
Naturally, your dentist is going to be concerned about the impact to your teeth of the sugar in Starbucks drinks and food. The easiest way to get around that is to go with sugar-free versions.
Can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners or no sweetener at all? Indulge, then, but brush your teeth soon afterwards. If you can’t brush, at the very least, rinse your mouth thoroughly after any sweet drink.
If you’re picking up breakfast, choose egg-based options instead of pastries and muffins. They’re so delicious you won’t miss the sugar!
WATCH OUT FOR THE CAFFEINE
You might be surprised to find out that your dentist has concerns about caffeine, too. Research has linked caffeine consumption to nighttime teeth grinding. Teeth grinding wears away your enamel and weakens teeth, increasing the risk of breaking or chipping. (Alcohol and tobacco seem to have the same effect.)
Try to limit your caffeine intake to 200-300mg each day, winding down consumption in the afternoon to minimize the effect on your sleep. That’s the equivalent of 2-3 cups. Ordering a “tall” – Starbucks’ version of a small cup – will allow you to enjoy your favorite drinks with fewer calories and less caffeine.
STAINS ON YOUR PEARLY WHITES
It’s pretty well known that coffee and tea (both green and black) stain your teeth. They can also contribute to bacterial growth that doesn’t do your teeth any favors, either. Sipping your drink through a straw can help keep these staining liquids off your teeth. You can also opt for Starbucks steamers (just milk and flavors), or new organic offerings like their Sweet Greens and Lemon Evolution Fresh juices, but remember to brush or rinse afterwards due to high sugar content.
ALL THINGS IN MODERATION
The best approach for enjoying Starbucks? Minimize the amount and frequency of sugar and caffeine intake and exposure to staining agents, and brush or rinse after consumption. In addition to consuming less sugar and caffeine, you’ll help make dental chair experiences happier and maybe even leave room in your wallet for taking in more of Austin’s awesome music scene.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Jack Fan is motivated to end every day knowing he helped people look and feel better in the most affordable, compassionate way possible. He’s committed to bringing his patients the latest dental technology and even being there for them late at night. Call 512-361-4288 to find why Dr. Fan is known for his bedside manner.