The Worst Drinks for Dental Health
Most people don’t think of the damage drinks cause to their oral health. After all, you don’t chew a drink, so what can it do to your teeth, right? Unfortunately, certain drinks cause oral health issues, including cavities, stained teeth, and gum disease. Knowing which drinks cause such destruction can help you choose wisely.
The sugar in soda works alongside the bacteria in your mouth to create acid. The acid eats away at your tooth’s enamel. Too much erosion and you may experience tooth sensitivities, or have tooth decay. Even without the sugar, soda has an acidic nature all on its own. This means that even diet soda can damage your teeth. Once the acid hits your tooth enamel, it affects your teeth for at least 20 minutes. If you drink soda frequently, you can see how easy it is to damage your teeth.
Fruit juice isn’t as healthy as it seems. Juice doesn’t have the same fiber content as the fruit itself, making it mostly sugar-based. Juice usually has a more acidic nature too. The combination of sugar and acid eat away at the enamel on your teeth. Drinking juice often can lead to worn down enamel, which leads to sensitive teeth and sometimes tooth decay.
Coffee causes a few concerns. If you drink it black, you run the risk of staining your teeth. Sometimes the stains are superficial and we can remove them in the office with a standard cleaning. Frequent coffee drinkers, though, may have stains that go beyond the surface enamel, requiring professional teeth whitening to remove the stains (if possible).
If you drink your coffee with sugar, you increase the damage coffee causes. The sugar creates an acidic environment with the bacteria in your saliva, causing enamel erosion. You may experience cavities or even gum disease as a result.
Many athletes turn to a refreshing sports drink to replenish their electrolytes after sweating. While the idea may seem good, the sugar and acid content in the drinks greatly outweigh any benefits the drink itself may offer your physical health.
Sports drinks have a high sugar and acid content, eating away at your enamel. Purified, coconut, or electrolyte water without the added sugar offers the same benefits without the risk of damage to your oral health.
If you do consume any of these drinks, always follow it with a glass of water, or better yet, brush your teeth. Keeping your regular dental cleanings and exams also helps keep your teeth in optimal condition – call River Valley Smile Center at 479-646-0706 for an appointment today!