Are your drink choices hurting your teeth?
Updated: May 21
Literally everything you drink has an impact on your teeth. At Barwon Heads Dental, we explain to our valued patients that not only can certain drinks stain your teeth, but their overall acidity can also soften tooth enamel, which can make your teeth more sensitive and vulnerable to decay.
Here is a list of what not to drink, and why:
You probably already know that soft drinks are bad for your waistline given the amount of sugar in a lot of them. But of course they can be terrible for your teeth as well. Soft drinks contain high amounts of two of the worst things for your teeth: acid and sugar. Some soft drinks contain more than the recommended daily intake of sugar in just one bottle. Plus, many contain citric or phosphoric acid to make them taste good. Our local to Ocean Grove Dentists often see patients where these acids have worn down the enamel which is what protects your teeth.
Many people think fruit juice is a healthier alternative to soft drink. However, some fruit juices contain just as much sugar. Plus, the majority of fruit juices are concentrated, which means you’re exposing your enamel to more acid than if you ate the fruit in its natural form. If you simply can’t give up your glass of fruit juice, look for options low in sugar. You can also lessen the potential damage from the acid and sugar by diluting with some water.
If you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, consider selecting a red wine instead of a white wine. White wine is more acidic, so it has an easier time destroying your enamel. Of course, red wine is notorious for staining your teeth. To help reduce the amount of staining over time, rinse with water after you have your wine.
Different types of teas can have a different impact on your teeth. Some research suggests that drinking green tea could have a positive effect on decay prevention and gum health. Brewed teas usually have a pH above 5.5, which makes them safer for your enamel. On the other hand, many iced teas have a very low pH that’s around 2.5 to 3.5, which means they’re acidic enough to cause damage to your enamel. Plus, some iced teas contain high levels of sugar.
Sparkling water might not seem like a bad beverage choice since its main ingredient is water. However, the ‘sparkling’ part is carbonation (CO2 gas) with means acidity. pH levels between 2.74 and 3.34. This gives your average bottle of sparkling water more erosive potential than orange juice. Therefore, it’s something you should avoid if you’re trying to live healthier and protect your teeth.
Sports drinks are marketed as a great way to replace vitamins and minerals lost during a workout. However, some sports drinks can contain up to 19 grams of sugar, which is more than many soft drinks. Even worse, sports drinks are high in sodium, with some bottles having just as much salt as a bag of chips. This combination of sugar and sodium means sports drinks can easily damage your tooth enamel and give you an unhealthy number of calories.
Our local to Geelong Dental team have put together some healthy options for you to consider:
If you’re looking for the best drink for your teeth, turn to water. A simple glass of water offers a variety of health benefits. First, it helps clean your teeth by washing away leftover food, acids, bacteria, and sugars that can lead to cavities. It can also help restore the pH balance in your mouth, and it has no calories. Plus, staying hydrated helps your body increase its saliva, which contains minerals that protect teeth from decay. Flavour it with a squeeze of fresh fruit juice for taste.
Milk is another great beverage option for a healthy smile. Milk is rich in calcium, which can help strengthen teeth and bones. Plus, like other dairy products, milk contains a protein called casein. Casein can help fight tooth decay by strengthening your tooth enamel. Additionally, milk contains phosphorous, which can actually help repair and strengthen tooth enamel that has dissolved from exposure to acid.
Not every beverage choice is bad for teeth. Now that you know which drinks to avoid and which drinks to consume, you can take better care of your mouth and show off that beautiful smile.
The Barwon Heads Dental team are proud to care for the locals of the Bellarine Peninsula, Surf Coast and Geelong. We are open 6 days per week with bookings available via our online booking system or by calling 03 4202-0678. New patients welcome!