Impact of What We Drink on Oral Health

Most people have heard of the negative impact drinking sugary liquids, such as soda, can have in their teeth. Here, we want to cover a little more extensively some of the best and worst drinks for our teeth and why the bad ones are so bad.

Sugary Drinks, Bacteria and Acid

Soda is terrible for our teeth but, oddly enough, se are sports drinks and fruit juices. The cause of the dental problems associated with these beverages comes down to acids. Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria then excrete acid onto our teeth, where it busily sets up work eroding our tooth enamel. Both the carbonic acid in soda and the citric acid in fruit juices also work directly to erode the enamel on our teeth.

Although sugar-free sodas are an improvement on those with sugar, they do nothing to remove the acidity in the drink.

Rather than drinking fruit juices, just eat the whole fruit. The water and fiber help diminish the effects of the acid and sugar and the remaining bulk and nutrients make it much more filling.

More Drinks You May Wish to Avoid (Or Cut Down On)

Alcohol, black tea, and coffee also have a negative effect of oral health. Because tea and coffee and dark in color they can stain the enamel of the teeth. Also, the added sugar many people use in these better beverages can eat away at the enamel.

Alcohol dehydrates the body, including the mouth. Without the defense of saliva the oral cavity becomes more vulnerable to bacteria.

Healthy Drinks for Healthy Teeth and Gums (The Good Guys)

Milk

Not only is Milk an excellent source of calcium, which we all need for keeping our teeth and bones strong, it can help restore minerals to our teeth, to some degree.

Calcium-fortified soy milk is a great alternative for people who are lactose intolerant or who simply wish to remain dairy-free.

Be aware that milk does contain natural sugars, so don’t leave a young child with a bottle or “sippy cup” in his or her mouth at bedtime. The remaining milk in the cup can feed oral bacteria, just like any other sugar does, leading to problems with the oral health of the child.

Green Tea and Herbal Teas

Green and herbal teas won’t stain your teeth. Drinking these types of tea actually benefits your oral health, because the contain organic chemicals known as polyphenols which combat oral bacteria. In drinking these beverages, just remember to keep the sugar to a minimum and use healthy sugar-free sweeteners instead.

Oral Health Benefits of Water

Water, good old H2O is a wonderful mouth-healthy drink, also essential to good overall health. We need water to help us produce saliva which helps defend the mouth from bacteria, sugars, and acids. The simple act of drinking water after we eat also helps wash away remaining food particles and keep the mouth clean until the next available time for brushing.

Good Mouth-Healthy Habits

We won’t try to tell you to cut out all sugary and acidic drinks, but we do recommend cutting down on the less healthy beverages and drinking more of the healthy ones; green and herbal teas, milk, and most of all… water.

And don’t forget to brush twice a day, floss after meals, and come in for your dental check-up and cleanings every six months!

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