The beverages that we consume can have a dramatic impact on our health, beginning at the first moment they pass our lips. The effect that drinks have on our teeth depends on several things, but it’s essentially determined by overall acidity.
According to a study done by the American Dentist Association, “dental erosion is the chemical dissolution of tooth structure in the absence of bacteria when the environment is acidic.” Acidic drinks soften tooth enamel, which makes teeth more vulnerable to decay and damage. Drinks that are high in sugar and acid have the potential damage teeth two-fold.
Teeth are strong, but they’re not indestructible. Acidic and surgery drinks eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is the hard, outer layer of the teeth, and enamel erosion is a problem because once that is destroyed, it can’t grow back. Thankfully, some measures can be taken to prevent and reduce tooth decay. One thing we can do is educated ourselves about how different drinks impact our teeth and follow the below tips.
There are many conflicting reports about wine and dental health. When it comes to wine, red seems to be better for teeth, but no variety is necessarily good for your teeth. The bottom line is that wine is highly acidic and can assist in damaging tooth enamel. However, you can still enjoy a glass here and there and reduce risks associated with drinking wine by drinking it responsibly. To further protect your smile from any adverse side effects, consider the following:
- Water helps wash the acids away. So be sure to drink some water after indulging.
- Do not brush right after drinking wine. Brushing your teeth too soon will spread the acid, exposing your whole mouth to corrosion.
Coffee is considered slightly acidic, and there’s some evidence that your morning cup o’ joe could actually be good for your teeth. Studies show that roasted coffee beans have an antibiotic effect that helps fight the bacteria that causes tooth decay. This is excellent news for coffee lovers! Unfortunately, there is bad news as well. If you’re drinking coffee regularly, it’s probably staining your teeth. Coffee contains darks pigments that will attach to the enamel of your teeth, and after time, will darken your smile.
Water is the healthiest drink choice available. Staying hydrated through water consumption helps the body distribute healthy nutrients, gives skin a healthy glow, keeps muscles moving, and helps your teeth stay healthy. Water is a natural cavity fighter that can help strengthen teeth, wash away bacteria, and prevent dry mouth by stimulating saliva.
When you drink soda, the sugars work with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid attacks your teeth, and with each sip, you’re starting a damaging chain of events that will last about 20 minutes.
The best solution is to stop drinking soda, but it’s hard to kick the habit. Some things you can do to lessen the risk of damage include:
- Drink in moderation.
- Use a straw.
- Rinse your mouth after drinking.
- Wait before you brush.
- Avoid soda before bedtime.
- See your dentist for routine cleaning appointments.
Drinking milk helps make your teeth healthy and will protect tooth enamel by providing calcium and phosphorus. It helps keep jawbones strong, is low in acidity, and has a high pH. Making milk an excellent drink choice to keep your teeth resilient and healthy.
In the south, we sure do love our sweet tea! Unfortunately, with large amounts of sugar and a low pH, sweet tea is terrible for our teeth. Research shows that many iced tea brands are much worse than soda, and similarly to pop, it can be a hard habit to break.
Try making the switch to green tea. Frequently drinking green tea can protect against gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. A study from 2016 indicated that green tea could reduce oral bacteria, which, in turn, can promote the health of teeth and gums.
Educating yourself and your family about what drinks can hurt your dental health is a good start in protecting your teeth. Set some goals and encourage your family to drink smart! Set a positive example, and you will all have healthier smiles and a healthier future.
If your teeth are damaged or yellowed from sugary drinks, and other bad habits, don’t panic. Schedule a consultation today to find out what we can do to give you a brand new smile. Contact us via our online contact form or give us a call!