Fall means more than crisp air and crunchy leaves — it also means pumpkin spice lattes! We love warming up with this seasonal favorite, but the version found at most coffee shops doesn’t quite cozy up to teeth. This autumn treat is loaded with sugar — up to 50 grams per cup! And consuming high amounts of sugar feeds the bacteria that cause plaque, which can form cavities. So what’s a pumpkin spice-loving smile to do? Don’t ignore your pumpkin spice fever for the sake of your smile! Instead, try the following homemade recipe for a healthier alternative to your autumn addiction.
Smile-Friendly Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Time: 5 – 10 minutes
- 8 ounces of coffee brewed with a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Tooth-Friendly Perk: These spices can add flavor, reducing or replacing sweetener in your drink.
- 4 tablespoons of pumpkin puree Tooth-Friendly Perk: Pumpkin is filled with vitamin A, which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
- ½ cup of low-fat milk
- Tooth-Friendly Perk: Milk contains vitamin D and calcium, which strengthen teeth and bones, preventing tooth loss.
- 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
- 2-3 drops of agave nectar or honey, if desired
- Sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg
- Mix milk with pumpkin puree in a saucepan and heat over stovetop at medium heat.
- Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and agave nectar.
- Froth mixture using a milk frother or blender.
- Combine mixture with freshly brewed coffee in a large mug.
- Top with cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Sip and enjoy!
Don’t forget to drink a glass of water afterward to help wash sugar and acid from your teeth!
Want more recipes that are better for your oral health? Click here.
*Updated September 2021