Every day, more people quit smoking, join a gym or start eating healthier. And although it’s important to be conscious of the type of food you consume, you shouldn’t overlook the beverages you drink as well. Not only are some loaded with hidden calories, but they do a number on your oral health. What is the worst drink for your teeth, though? There’s isn’t one that tops the list. Here are five beverages to avoid and why.
There used to be an commercial jingle that told you to “have a” certain soda “and a smile.” Unfortunately, showing your teeth is the last thing you’d want to do having had enough of it. The acids and sugar byproducts in soda heighten your risk of cavities by softening the teeth’s protective enamel.
What Do Sugary Drinks Do to Teeth?
It’s widely known that regular consumption of sugary beverages is not good for you, but even the occasional indulgence can have negative effects on your oral health. When you have one of these drinks, the sugar latches on to your teeth. Bacteria that are normally found inside your mouth eat away at the sugar these drinks leave behind. However, as the bacteria consumes the sugar, it begins to produce acid. Eventually, the acid begins to eat away some of the enamel on your teeth. This makes the teeth thinner and weaker. As the enamel weakens, the likelihood of developing cavities becomes greater. Sugary drinks are known as one of the most common dietary causes of tooth decay.
A morning cup of coffee is a daily routine for millions of people. However, coffee’s natural brown color can turn your teeth an ugly yellow by revealing the dentin beneath your enamel. Sugar is a popular additive to coffee, too, and can increase one’s risk of cavities in the same way as soda.
Not a fan of coffee? A soothing cup of tea gets you going each morning, and its antioxidants can do wonders for your body’s defense against oral cancer. Choose your flavor wisely, though; black tea and darker blends can stain your teeth in a similar manner as coffee.
Whether you prefer a nice glass of wine, cracking open a six-pack or your favorite liquor on the rocks, the strength of most alcoholic drinks can wear down enamel, as well. Its sugar content can also contribute to periodontal disease, whereas red wines – despite their antioxidants – leave particularly heavy stains over time.
5. Sports Drinks
After a challenging workout, some people like to replenish their electrolyte stores with a thirst-quenching sport drink. However, the high acid content in these drinks can damage tooth enamel even more than soda.
Not all drinks are bad for you, of course. You need certain liquids to maintain saliva flow and your teeth’s overall strength. Here are some you should never forget:
What to Drink?
Plain old tap water may lack taste, but it also has no sugar or artificial sweeteners that lead to tooth decay. Most towns and cities add fluoride to their water supply, not to mention it’s refreshing on a hot day or after a sweat-soaked workout.
Milk, too, does a body good. It’s also low in sugar and high in calcium, protein and phosphorus – all of which are helpful to building bone in your jaw. Another option if you’re craving something sweet to drink is juice. Although actual fruit is ideal, juices that are sourced 100-percent from fruit juice aren’t bad alternatives, either. Simply consume them in moderation.