Everything you put in your mouth affects your teeth, including what you drink.  Some beverages stain your teeth, some make them more sensitive, some can even soften your tooth enamel and leave them at higher risk for cavities.  Many of us are trying to live healthy lifestyles but not everyone realizes that a healthy body requires a healthy mouth.  Sure, we know you should eat a good diet and exercise, but oral hygiene really does help us live a longer life.  Let’s look at some beverages and some healthy alternatives.

*Pop or Soda-

Everyone knows that drinking a lot of pop is bad for your weight, but what about your teeth?  Pop contains two of the worst things for teeth; sugar and acid.  A single serving bottle of pop can contain more than the daily recommended amount of sugar which makes them a hazard for your dental health.  Most are also highly acidic and strip the enamel on your teeth.  Some people think that diet pop is better because of the lack of sugar, but they often contain an even higher amount of phosphoric acid, citric acid and/or tartaric acid so it’s best to avoid them as well.

*Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are marketed as a great way to replace vitamins and minerals lost during a workout. However, some sports drinks can contain more sugar some sodas. 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 as well.

*Fruit Juice

Many people think fruit juice is a healthier alternative, however, some fruit juices contain just as much sugar as a bottle of pop.  Plus, most 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 pouring a glass that’s half juice and half water.

*Wine

Red and white wines are very acidic, which we already know is bad for your teeth. If you want to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, consider selecting a red wine instead of a white. 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.

*Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide, but even your beloved coffee can cause damage to your teeth.  Coffee can be very high in acid which can damage your enamel and cause other dental problems.  It can also stain your teeth so it’s important to keep those regular cleaning appointments.  Chewing sugar free gum after drinking coffee can help create saliva to avoid growth of bacteria as well as help alleviate the dreaded coffee breath.

*Milk

Milk is 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 help repair and strengthen tooth enamel that has dissolved from exposure to acid.

*Water

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.

Not all beverages are bad for your teeth, sometimes the culprit is in the amounts we drink.  Choose healthy choices as often as possible and when you do indulge, try drinking water afterwards or chewing sugar free gum. 

*Sources – www.healthline.com

                  – www.mouthhealthy.org

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