Most people take care to make sure what they drink isn’t too harmful for their bodies, but many times they overlook the effect their choice of drink has on their oral health. Our dentists have come up with the list below to showcase the 7 worst drinks for your teeth and overall oral health.
Soda is one of the most popular types of beverages in America but it can do a lot of damage to your teeth. The damage is caused by three factors, the acidic content, the carbonation, and the large amount of sugar it contains. High levels of acid erode your enamel overtime making your teeth sensitive and prone to decay. Carbonated drinks also dry out your mouth, reducing your levels of saliva.This is a problem because your saliva coats your teeth and gums, protecting them from acids and washing away debris and bad bacteria. Lastly, high levels of sugar are linked to cavities and decay.
Diet soda is better than regular sodas because they do not contain loads of sugar; however, they are still bad for your oral health because of the acidic content and carbonation.
A daily routine for most Americans, coffee is one of the worst things you can drink for your oral health. Coffee stains your teeth, causes dry mouth, and erodes your enamel. If you add sugar to your coffee that makes it even worse for your teeth since the sugar content can increase your risk of cavities. Each of these factors are bad for your teeth but combined they can really do some damage overtime, especially if you are a daily coffee drinker.
Since removing coffee from their daily routine isn’t reasonable for most people, our dentists suggest you work towards minimizing the damage drinking coffee causes. Make sure to drink plenty of water afterwards, dilute the acidity by adding milk to your coffee, and avoid adding sugar or sugary creamers/flavoring.
As long as you don’t add in sugar, brewed teas are usually safe for your oral health since they have a pH of above 5.5. In fact green tea has shown to have positive effects on gum health and preventing decay.
However, those concerned about their oral health should steer clear of iced tea. Iced tea has a very low pH, typically around 2.5-3.5, which can erode enamel. They are also usually loaded with sugar which can increase your risk of cavities and decay. Many popular iced tea brands have been shown to contain more sugar than soda.
It’s commonly known that wine and other alcohols dehydrate the body but they also dehydrate the mouth, creating a condition known as dry mouth. With less saliva in the mouth protecting the tooth enamel, the acid content in the wine can do a lot of damage to the enamel of your teeth. Overtime this can weaken your teeth and create sensitivity.
If red wine is your go to beware it comes with the added issue of teeth staining. However, if you are thinking you can avoid staining and oral health issues by just drinking white wine, think again. Although white wine won’t cause staining, it tends to be more acidic than red wine, causing a larger amount of enamel erosion overtime.
5. Sports Drinks
Although advertised as a healthy option to replenish electrolytes after a workout, sports drinks can do a lot of damage to your oral health. These drinks are loaded with cavity causing sugars and contain enamel weakening acids. Many times, the high acid content in sports drinks are worse than soda when it comes to damaging tooth enamel.
Unless you are a high level athlete, our dentists suggest skipping the sports drinks and choosing water to hydrate after a workout.
6. Carbonated Water
In recent years carbonated water has become the choice of many to replace their soda addictions. Even though carbonated water is better because of the lack of sugar, it comes with it’s own risks. Unlike regular water, carbonated water has an acidic pH. This overtime will cause erosion of the tooth enamel. But the issues don’t stop there, carbonation in itself can be an issues since it commonly causes dry mouth. Without the extra protection of saliva to neutralize the acid content, carbonated water can really do some damage to your enamel.
7. Fruit Juices
Fruit juices, even those made of 100% juice, are packed with sugar. As most people know high levels of sugar increase your risk of cavities and tooth decay. Fruit juices are typically concentrated as well which means you will expose your teeth to a lot more acid by drinking these juices than you would if you ate the fruit in its natural form.
Our dentists recommend diluting fruit juice to lessen the acidic and sugar content. Try a 50/50 mix of one part fruit juice, one part water.
If you these types of drinks are part of your daily routine you may have some issues with weakened enamel, tooth sensitivity, and gum decay. If you frequently drink the beverages above, it’s best to make an appointment with your dentists to see how much damage has already been done and the steps you can take to repair the damage and mitigate further damage. To schedule an appointment with one of our dentists fill out our contact form or give us a call at 703-822-5583.