Taking care of your oral hygiene goes beyond simple brushing and flossing habits. It’s about avoiding bad habits that affect your teeth, like nicotine, drugs, and certain foods and beverages.
Yes, even what you drink can play a part in how healthy your teeth are.
Knowing the worst drinks for your teeth can help you either kick the habit or take better care of your teeth after enjoying the beverage! Here are ten of the worst beverages for your teeth and the answers to your questions about drinks and teeth health.
Sugary Drinks and Other Dangers to Your Oral Health
So many of our drinks today are ladened with sweeteners to the degree that we don’t even notice it anymore. Parents think they’re giving their toddlers the healthier option by pushing away colas in favor of Sprite or fruit punch drinks. While yes, they are avoiding the caffeine, they are still harming their teeth and other parts of the body with sugar-loaded beverages.
Instead of an occasional treat, sweet tea, soda, and artificial or fresh juice have become a part of our daily lives. In addition to the caloric and preservative damages to the body, this is not healthy for our teeth.
The bacteria that is already naturally in your mouth eats the sugar you consume. What happens when you eat food? It gives you energy.
When bacteria get energy, they produce acid that stays in your mouth unless you take care of it right away. The result? Cavities and enamel erosion.
Drop the Drink and Find a Better Option for These Teeth-Harming Beverages
If you’re like most people, you wonder about certain drinks, such as: Is tea bad for your teeth, or what is the worst soda for your teeth. Those are commonly known as unhealthy beverages all around, but what about the sneakier ones?
Even fresh juice has sugar in it – a lot of sugar, actually! It’s a natural sugar, so it’s healthier for your body to break down, but it’s still sugar.
Before you go shopping or choose your next beverage at a restaurant, check out this list of the ten worst beverages for your teeth:
1. Soda – The worst soft drinks for your teeth might surprise you. Soda in general is horrible for your teeth. In fact, consuming any carbonated and heavily sugar-laden soda regularly can cause as much damage to your teeth as using cocaine or meth.
Still, if you feel that you must drink soda, stay away from the dark ones. They deteriorate the cosmetic appearance of your teeth by discoloring them, on top of damaging the enamel, as all sodas do. To answer the question of the worst soda for your teeth, it’s all of them.
2. Sugary Teas – Is tea bad for your teeth? Well, yes and no. Tea is actually a good thing for your teeth unless it has sugar in it. Brewed teas, like black and green unflavored varieties, can help reduce the bacteria and acid in your mouth. Until you add sugar and syrups to flavor the drink, tea is a good option.
3. Sport Drinks – It’s a common misconception for people to choose a sports drink like Powerade over soda and think they’re making a better choice. These beverages are high in sugar, although the electrolytes do make them good during physical activity.
4. Alcohol – Any alcoholic drink is unhealthy in certain ways, but all of them are bad for your oral health. It dries out your mouth, reducing the saliva production, which is necessary to keep it healthy. Saliva prevents food particles from hanging out around your teeth, washing them down and away from bacteria. Is beer bad for your teeth? Yes, but wine and other options aren’t much better.
5. Juice – Fresh juice is your best choice health-wise, but be cautious about how you take care of your teeth after drinking it. One glass of apple or orange juice contains almost as much sugar as a glass of soda. It’s a natural sugar so your body handles it better, but it still feeds bacteria.
6. Coffee – Similar to tea, coffee can be good for your teeth if you don’t doctor it up. Straight coffee can stain your teeth’s enamel, but doesn’t have sugar in it to cause cavities. However, it’s the stuff you put in it to make it so delicious that becomes the problem.
7. Milk – Is milk bad for your teeth? No. And yes. Surprised? The beverage that is advertised as necessary for strong teeth and bones is also on the list of worst drinks for your oral health. It’s true that you need the calcium that comes in milk for your teeth and bones to grow. But lactose, a key ingredient in milk, is sugar. Go ahead and drink your milk, but be sure to brush after.
8. Energy Drinks – These are increasing in popularity today with every age group, but they are horrible for your health in general and teeth in particular. Energy drinks are full of sugars that decay your teeth. They also have a lot of other ingredients that run your body down, making it harder for it to fight the bacteria that is attacking your enamel.
9. Sparkling Water – How can water be harmful to your teeth? Well, sparkling water is not as innocent as it looks. This beverage has a pH level of somewhere between 2.74 and 3.34, making it overly acidic. It can erode your teeth faster than an acidic drink like orange juice.
10. Fruit Punch – This is a generic name for any artificial fruit juice. Unlike the fresh juice counterpart, these drinks are full of sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Even if the drink contains vitamins and minerals, they are neutralized with the excessive imitation ingredients. They also have a pH level under 3, an acidic no-no for your teeth.
On top of avoiding these sugary and unhealthy drinks, make sure you take care of your teeth by getting regular checkups. Supremia Dentistry is ready to schedule your appointment and help you improve your oral hygiene health today!