Everything that touches your teeth can influence the health of your enamel. Your drinks are particularly important to choose with care because they can quickly and easily coat your teeth. Even when you think that you are just swallowing your drinks down without swishing them in your mouth, your teeth are still being bathed in the liquid.
The American diet is full of sugar, and drinks are no exception. Sugar is prevalent in sodas, sports drinks, juices, and even many so-called “health drinks.” However, even drinks that do not contain sugar, such as diet sodas, reduced-calorie drinks, and powder or liquid water additives, can pose huge concerns for your enamel.
When it comes to the teeth, the two biggest problems with many drinks are the sugar and the acid content. While both sugar and acidic liquids can slowly break down your enamel, sugars also lead to bacterial growth in the mouth, which can eventually turn into cavities.
Which Drinks Are the Worst?
Any drink with sugar in it is quite terrible for your teeth. Sugar attaches to tooth enamel and begins breeding harmful bacteria. If not brushed away quickly, this will lead to cavities. However, it may surprise you just how bad fruit juices can be as well. Even those not filled with added sugars still have plenty of natural sugars from the fructose.
The list of problematic drinks also includes smoothies because most of these are made with fruits and fruit juices. Equally concerning are citrus fruits that also contain acids that can make enamel porous.
Of course, you cannot forget about the sugar that you might add to your tea or coffee. Although you can be encouraged by the fact that coffee and tea themselves do not do much to break down your enamel because they are not acidic enough, their health is quickly negated by added sugar. There is one other problem with plain coffee and tea, however. While they do not eat into your enamel, they can stain the surfaces of your teeth over time.
Another problematic drink is wine. Not only is it acidic and can break down enamel if you drink it in high enough quantities, but also red wine is incredibly staining.
If you think that you are making a better choice with diet sodas over regular sodas, think again. Manufacturers add citric or phosphoric acid to give these drinks the right flavor. However, these acids are proven to weaken enamel. In fact, dentists themselves use similar acids to prepare tooth enamel for bonding treatments.
Does How You Drink Your Beverages Really Matter?
It is not just what you drink but how you drink it that keeps your teeth healthy. For example, instead of sipping your drinks slowly and letting the liquids settle into all the tooth crevices throughout the day, it is best to finish your drinks quickly. Do not sip on sugary or acidic drinks all day long.
In addition, drinking with a straw helps you bypass some of your teeth altogether if you absolutely have to have a favorite drink.
Finally, if you are someone who loves to chew ice, try to give up this habit. Chewing such hard things can cause your teeth to weaken and may eventually crack or chip your teeth.
How Can You Keep Your Teeth Healthy?
These smart drinking tips will help you enjoy your favorite drinks while eliminating as much damage as possible.
- Use a straw for sugary sodas, juices, and smoothies.
- Drink your coffee without sugar, and never nurse a sugar-laden coffee beverage.
- Stay away from regular soda, diet soda, and sports drinks whenever possible, and never sip on them all day long.
- After drinking something sugary, acidic, or staining, rinse your mouth out with water, or give your teeth a quick brushing with a wet toothpaste.
- Do not chew your ice.
- Try to drink water in place of other beverages whenever possible.
Find Help for Stained or Damaged Teeth
If your teeth are looking yellowed or stained from your favorite wines, coffees, and teas, or if you are noticing sensitivity or pain in any of your teeth from sugary drinks, you can find quick and thorough professional help at Scottsdale Dental Excellence. Jeffery C. Clark, DDS, has years of experience in keeping teeth healthy and protected, and he and his team can help you achieve sparkling, pain-free, natural-looking teeth and gums. Whether you need a simple cleaning, a state-of-the-art whitening treatment, or more in-depth cosmetic treatments to get you looking your best, we encourage you to make your appointment with us today by calling 480 585 1853.