When we think of dental health, we think of what we eat, how we clean our teeth, but how often do we consider what we drink? Here are 5 ways drinks impact oral health, and how you can support good dental health by being smart about what we drink.
1. Acid is not your friend
Many drinks have a higher acid content, which eats away at tooth enamel, but can be even worse if they’re sipped throughout the day. Drinks most likely to be full of acid are sodas, fruit juices, fruit punch, and wine. White wine is a tempting choice, as it is less likely to stain teeth than red, but it generally carries a higher acid content, meaning it can be more corrosive on tooth enamel.
2. Sugar sticks around
Drinks high in sugar, such as coffee, soda, fruit juice, fruit punch, can impact oral health by helping to proliferate plaque. Sugar means plaque has plenty to feed on, and plenty of chance to do damage.
3. There are safe ways to indulge
Not everyone can avoid all their favorites all the time. So if you do indulge there are things you can do to mitigate any issues.
Drinking with a straw can help reduce how long or how much acid is on your teeth, bypassing the worst amount of exposure. Sipping on the other hand can increase it, so reach for the straw next time you want to indulge in a sweet soda or frozen coffee.
Eating cheese with wine can also help form a protective coating, reducing the worst of acid’s effects on your teeth while you drink wine. So if you must, a little cheese will taste gorgeous AND be a healthy alternative.
4. Not all drinks are created equal
Although tea can be a much healthier decision, what you put in it can impact oral health as well. Coffee or tea with added sugar runs the risk of encouraging plaque to do their worst. But choosing black tea, or green tea, without the sugar, can help protect your teeth, and minimize any damage added sugar can do.
5. Water is a powerhouse
Although milk, tea, etc are good options for your teeth, the best beverage of choice that has the most effect on oral health is water! Water can impact oral health by keeping the mouth cleaner, more well hydrated, and prevent mouth dryness, which can exacerbate or encourage tooth decay. Reach for the water! It can help keep your teeth strong and healthy!
Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.