Pancake Day means a treat for the taste buds - but the classic combination of sugar and lemon in Shrove Tuesday treats is anathema to enamel! Acid in lemon and other fruit juices can weaken tooth enamel while sugar feeds the bacteria that cause decay, making consumption of pancakes a perfect storm in terms of tooth decay.
Your clients may be under the illusion that naturally occurring sugars found in honey, maple syrup and even fruit are better for their teeth but in actual fact, sticky substances can hang around in the mouth for a long time, while the teeth don’t really know the difference between natural and man-made sugars.
Of course, as a one-off treat there’s no reason to deny yourself a pancake on Shrove Tuesday, but you can educate patients on ways to minimise the damage – such as keeping a glass of water or milk on hand to rinse away sticky syrups and other food debris while reducing the pH inside their mouth, or chewing sugar-free gum after eating.
If pancakes are a regular breakfast option for your clients, or even an energy-packed snack for kids at break time or after school, then it’s important they choose healthier options. Butter and cinnamon makes a classic sweet combo that’s much more mouth-friendly, or for a more filling idea why not try cream cheese with berries, natural yoghurt with grated apple, or nut butter and sugar free jam?