You might imagine that what you drink might not have too much impact on your oral health but it seems that certain beverages should definitely be given a wide berth, if you want to avoid some issues with your teeth and gums.
You can look to Carefree Dental for information on the subject of caring for the health of your teeth, and here is a look at how what you drink can directly affect your oral health.
Top of the “naughty list”
No one ever wanted to be on the naughty list when they were younger and when it comes to compiling a list of drinks that are the naughtiest in terms of dental erosion, soft drinks like soda and fruit juice are the bad boys of the beverage world.
They are when it comes to dental erosion at least. Dental erosion occurs when the enamel on your tooth is worn away as a result of exposure to acid.
Enamel is the protective coating which is designed to protect your teeth from damage, but the acid found in soda and fruit juice sets to work in attacking this hard coating and subsequently exposing the dentine area of your tooth.
Every time that you drink something acidic it causes the enamel to lose some of its mineral content and the surface becomes softer. The acidity in these drinks can be neutralized by the saliva in your mouth, which works to slowly restore the natural balance needed within your mouth, but if you don’t give it enough time to do its work, this is when the surface of the tooth can start to wear away.
Basically, regular consumption of these acidic drinks will not give your mouth time to recover and any drink which has a pH value that is lower than 5.5, should go to the top of the “naughty list”.
More prone to dental erosion
There are plenty of studies around that all tend to arrive at the same conclusion, which is that if you are a regular drinker of sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, you are far more likely to experience dental erosion.
The British Dental Health Foundation point out that fruit juice is understandably considered to be a nutritious drink, but the high concentrations of sugar and acid contained within these beverages, can result in severe dental damage if these sort of drinks are consumed on a daily basis.
It seems that men are almost twice as likely to be at risk of dental erosion than women, but tooth wear generally becomes more prevalent as we all get older.
The problem with a number of beverages available is that they are associated with health and vitality, resulting in a number of people not focusing on the content of the drink and what it might be doing to your oral health and hygiene.
Sports drinks are a good example of this. If you have just completed a rigorous workout routine, you may well be swayed by a sports drink’s promise to quench your thirst and replenish your electrolyte levels, but the high acid content of some of these drinks can arguably outweigh any other potential benefits they might be providing.
Tea and coffee
It is worth mention two of the most popular beverages around that many of us consume throughout the day.
Coffee has the ability to turn your teeth an unattractive yellow color by exposing the dentin beneath your enamel. In terms of erosion, if you add sugar to your coffee, this will increase your risk of cavities in much the same way as if you were drinking a soda.
Tea also has an ability to stain your teeth, especially if you drink black tea or a darker blend. There are healthy antioxidants in tea that do have the ability to improve your body’s defense against oral cancer, so it is not a particularly bad choice, provided you avoid adding sugar and maybe choose a lighter blend.
It is really simple when it comes to choosing a health alternative to sodas and fruit juices, as water ticks most of the required boxes.
You won’t discover any hidden artificial sweeteners or sugar contained within a glass of tap water. You will also often find that a level of fluoride is often added to the water supply, which is a positive benefit when it comes to maintaining good oral health.
You might also want to consider a glass of milk, as it is low in sugar but has a good calcium content, which promotes healthy bones.
If you want to maintain good oral health, make sure you check what’s in your glass.
Declan Morton is the receptionist at his local dental clinic. He is a people person and loves chatting to patients, about health and dental issues as well as everyday life. He writes about health topics during his spare time, sharing the knowledge he picks up at work with others.