Care for your teeth goes beyond brushing and flossing alone. What you drink can also have a major impact. Consuming certain beverages may lead to enamel wear, staining, and the development of cavities.
Water is the optimal beverage to drink to help maintain healthy teeth and gums; its neutral pH level makes it the perfect hydrating source. Other great choices are milk (it's packed with calcium!) or green tea.
Sodas contain both high amounts of sugar and acidity, creating a double whammy for dental health. Sugar fuels the bacteria responsible for tooth decay while acid wears away enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to decay and sensitivity.
Diet soda is an increasingly popular beverage choice, though its effects on dental health may still be detrimental. Diet sodas can still contain high levels of acidic fizz which soften tooth enamel and increase risk for decay and sensitivity.
Drinking soda with a straw is one way to lessen their effects, and will also allow you to sip more slowly. After taking these types of drinks, drinking plenty of water afterwards may help rinse away excess acid and sugar from your mouth. Also, eating food while drinking can stimulate more saliva in your mouth, which will further help neutralize acids that affect your teeth and remove harmful bacteria that could otherwise accumulate there.
Tea can be an ideal alternative to soda and coffee beverages if it contains no added sugars, such as black and green unsweetened teas.. Unsweetened black and green unsweetened teas may even help prevent tooth decay as they have low acidity levels and contain fluoride. On the other hand, fruit punch flavored varieties usually contain lots of added sugar such as high fructose corn syrup that could stain teeth over time. So be wary when selecting varieties to drink!
Coffee may help kick-start your morning right, but it's one of the worst beverages for your teeth. Coffee contains high acid levels which wear down enamel and also stains your teeth.If you must indulge, select the lightest blend possible and limit sugary additions for best results.
Sports drinks might seem like the ideal way to hydrate after exercise, but their high levels of sugar can actually damage your teeth in ways you may never have expected.
Studies have demonstrated that sports drinks are more damaging to teeth than soda due to their ingredients and acidic content. When consumed, sports beverages soak into your mouth for some time, where their acid eats through enamel to reach dentin beneath which may cause cavities or sensitivity issues.
Sports drinks with their high sugar content may feed existing bacteria that is present in your mouth and lead to gum disease and plaque build-up, potentially leading to tooth decay that requires fillings or root canals as treatment options.
Another issue associated with sports drinks is their dyes, which can stain teeth over time if consumed regularly. A recent study demonstrated that sports drink dyes stain teeth even more than red wine or coffee!