Worst Drinks for Your Teeth
The key to your dental health is good habits – including daily care for your teeth and visits to a dentist office. A regular routine of keeping your teeth clean and strong can ensure long-term health. On the other hand, bad habits that build up over time can cause cumulative damage to your teeth and cause you to feel unhealthy overall. One such habit could include what you drink.
Consuming beverages means splashing liquid over your teeth on a regular basis. Making healthy beverage choices can keep your teeth healthy in between visits to your dentist office.
So many beverages, including those marketed as healthy or natural, contain lots of sugar. Sugar in your mouth and stuck on or between teeth becomes a feeding frenzy for the bacteria in your mouth. Over time, the bacteria produces acid from all that sugar consumed. The acid wears down the enamel of your teeth making you vulnerable to cavities and caries.
From juices to sodas, sugars in drinks are everywhere. Just look for ingredients that end in “-ose” including sucrose, glucose, lactose, and more. If you must drink sweetened drinks, do so in moderation rather than sipping all day long. Or you can look for non-sugar sweetener substitutes.
In addition to avoiding sugars that may become an acid, you’ll also want to avoid drinks that full of acid themselves. This includes certain juices and sweet drinks such as lemonade. Citrus based drinks are acid culprits. Especially during hot summer months, drink acidic, citrus drinks in moderation, rather than all day long.
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or certain sodas, can cause excess dryness in your mouth. Chronic dry mouth can lead to or exacerbate gum disease and tooth decay. If you are one who enjoys sipping on coffee or other highly caffeinated drinks all day, you may want to consider the healthy implications for your teeth. If you enjoy hot beverages, think about switching to a lower caffeine tea throughout the day instead, to stay hydrated and keep your mouth from drying out.
When you are thinking about which drinks are the worst for your teeth, don’t forget about the ones that leave their mark. Rich or dark drinks including coffee and certain juices can stain your teeth, especially if you consume them often. The cumulative effect may require teeth whitening options available at your dentist office.
No matter what kind of drink you like to keep cold, if you are using ice or ice chips to cool it down, be careful. Chewing on ice may seem like a harmless habit, but can cause painful damage to your teeth. Chewing ice can cause chips, fractures, and even breaks in your teeth. If you’re trying to break the habit, consider leaving the ice out and using an insulated cup to keep your drink cold. Or look into slushies or smoothies that are cold, without being chewable.
While there are great drinks available on the market to keep you hydrated and cool, and possibly energized, throughout the day, you want to be careful about the ingredients and consider the damage they could be doing to your teeth. Ultimately the best thing you should be drinking is water. If you’ve noticed any problems including stains or damage, due to certain drinks, give us a call or contact us to make an appointment. We would love to help you get back to a healthy smile.