We’ve been told by our parents since the good old days of being kids that candy is bad for our teeth.
In the midst of adulthood it’s easy to forget about the naysayers. Our love for speciality coffees, energy drinks, beers, and super-sized portions can have us feeling invincible. Simply put, we don’t always realize how much we’re consuming.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five tooth-friendly tips that can help you sip smarter.
Sugary drinks can leave your mouth constantly bathed in sugar throughout the day, creating an ideal environment for cavities to develop. A lot of us don’t realize that many of them are also highly acidic which can damage the teeth’s protective enamel. Pop, energy drinks, and sports drinks can contain high amounts of sugar and are also acidic. Don’t be fooled – while low in sugar, diet pops are highly acidic and can damage your tooth enamel. Even healthier options such as fruit juices can have as much sugar as pop while many are naturally acidic.
During meals your mouth produces more saliva, which protects and cleans the mouth from bacteria. If you’d like to enjoy a glass of juice, wine, or milk, then don’t worry. Just remember to drink it with your meal to reduce the damage to your teeth. Even better, eat a piece of fruit. Your teeth get the benefit of a healthy snack, plus you get fewer calories in the process. If you’re super thirsty then try reaching for a glass of water.
It’s not only the drinks that come with sugar that matter, it’s also about the sugar you add to your drinks. A teaspoon of sugar in your morning coffee, or a drizzle of honey to your mid afternoon tea – it all adds up. Slowly try to reduce the amount of sugar you add and eventually your taste will adjust and your craving for sugar will decrease. Also avoid adding acidic (lemon or lime juice) to water.
Alcohol can cause dehydration, creating a dry mouth. Sadly, a dry mouth is the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. It’s important to remember that wine, beer, and other drinks can stain your teeth so it’s important to avoid swishing beverages in your mouth. Also be aware of what you add to your drink as many mixes are also high in sugar or acidity. Try having a glass of water in between drinks. This can help to cleanse your mouth and also help to limit the amount of alcohol you consume.
You may not notice it in the early stages but too many sugary and acidic drinks can start to affect your dental health. Don’t wait until you have a problem to visit the dentist. Most dental issues can be prevented with early intervention. Overall, if you notice any increased sensitivity or pain, always make sure to talk to your dentist.