Ustick Dental August/Sept. 2018

A DRINK TO DENTAL HEALTH

THE TRUTH ABOUT SPARKLING WATER

Soda sales are down, and sparkling water sales are up. Health-minded individuals are turning away from sugar-filled sodas and juices, replacing them with fizzy alternatives such as La Croix and Perrier. These beverages offer all the bubbles without the guilt, but are they any safer for our teeth ? Sodas and juices are highly acidic. Combine that with sugar, and you have the ultimate recipe for tooth decay. Remove the sugars and acidic ingredients, such as citric acid, and you are left with a very different sort of drink. A 2016 study featured in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) took a close look at the erosive properties of beverages we consume every day and their impact on tooth enamel. The study found that sports drinks were the worst offenders, or “extremely erosive,” with sodas trailing close behind. Researchers also found that sparkling water was “minimally erosive” when it came to the impact on tooth enamel. Dr. Edmond Hewlett, a professor with the UCLA School of Dentistry and consumer advisor with the American Dental Association, says that, sugars aside, the acidity in sparkling water is significantly less than sodas, juices, and other similar drinks.

The carbon dioxide bubbles in sparkling water (which become carbonic acid when consumed) are weaker than the acids found in other drinks. The bubbles are not a danger to tooth enamel. If regularly consumed over a long period of time, however, sparkling water may have an erosive effect. But for a vast majority of the population, this is a nonissue. The important takeaway from the JADA study is that sugar-free sparkling water is a healthier alternative to soda, juice, sports drinks, and other beverages high in sugars and acid content. That includes beverages marketed as diet (they may lack sugar, but they are still highly acidic). The next time you reach for a bubbly and refreshing sparkling water, you can know you are making a good choice for your body and teeth.

Roasted Cauliflower PARMESAN

Ingredients 1 head cauliflower

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 medium yellow onion, sliced

4 sprigs thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

Directions 1. Heat oven to 425 F.

2. Cut cauliflower into florets. On a large baking sheet, toss cauliflower with onions, thyme, garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. 3. Roast for 35–40 minutes, tossing occasionally. 4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and finish roasting, about 10 minutes longer. 5. Serve while hot.

Inspired by epicurious.com.

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