YOUR DENTIST says these 4 beverages can harm your teeth

november 20th, 2020

oral health

Most people don’t drink enough water. It’s pretty much the perfect beverage; it rehydrates you without any extra calories or sugar that can hurt your oral health. Many of us instead choose to consume drinks that are detrimental to our teeth. Read on as a dentist discusses 4 popular beverages that can actually harm your teeth.


WINE

You may have heard that red wine can stain the teeth. While this is true, did you know that white wine actually stains them more quickly than red does? This is because white wine is more acidic, meaning it wears down the enamel faster and reveals the yellowish layer of dentin underneath. So, your dentist would actually prefer that you drink red wine over white wine.



COFFEE

Some studies have shown that people who drink coffee tend to live longer and have more general health benefits. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for your teeth. Coffee contains molecules that leave stains in your enamel, no matter how light or dark your drink is. One way to minimize this discoloration is to limit your consumption to one cup a day. If possible, drink through a straw so the beverage bypasses your teeth and does less harm.




CARBONATED BEVERAGES

We all know that soda isn’t healthy in general. Soda and sparkling water are highly acidic, which can wear down your tooth enamel, both discoloring your teeth and making them more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Don’t think that you’re safe if you only drink diet soda; while there may be less sugar, there’s still the same amount of acid to wreak havoc on your teeth. Like with coffee, you can decrease the risk of damage if you consume carbonated drinks through a straw.





ALCOHOL

Believe it or not, the alcohol itself isn’t what does the most harm to teeth; it’s what we often mix with it. Combining alcohol with sugary and acidic soda or juice is a recipe for disaster when it comes to our teeth. Alcohol can also cause dry mouth, a condition where the mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva. Saliva is important in neutralizing the acids from foods and drinks, and washing bits of food and bacteria that could cause decay from the teeth. if you’re going to drink, be sure to consume plenty of water as well to offset the alcohol.

Your dentist recommends that you limit these drinks as much as possible. When you can, try to substitute them with plain old water.




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Because of the coronavirus, more people than ever before are staying at home. Many people are also taking this time to evaluate their health and start a more nutritious diet or work out more often. One aspect that a lot of people fail to consider is their dental health. What better time to work on your oral health habits than when you’re under quarantine at home? Here are a few tips you can implement into your daily life to keep your teeth and gums healthy until your dentist starts accepting patients for cleanings again.



DON'T BRUSH TOO AGGRESSIVELY

Most people know that they should brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. What a lot of people aren’t aware of, though, is that they might be applying too much pressure when they brush. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled brush can irritate your gums and wear down your enamel, or the outermost layer of your teeth. Both of these issues can lead to painful sensitivity. Use only the lightest of pressure when brushing, and select a brush with soft bristles.


GET THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF FLUORIDE

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in most water sources. It also has been proven to strengthen your enamel, making you more resistant to tooth decay. Even if you brush and floss every day, you still might get cavities if you’re not exposed to enough fluoride. The next time you get groceries, pick a toothpaste fortified with fluoride. Also, drink tap water, since it contains fluoride, while bottled water typically doesn’t.



RINSE WITH MOUTHWASH

Brushing and flossing only cleans a portion of your mouth. There are plenty of hard-to-reach areas where bacteria can accumulate if you don’t use mouthwash. Make sure to select one that’s alcohol-free. Alcohol dries out the mouth, which actually increases the chance that you’ll get cavities or gum disease. Additionally, pick a mouthwash that contains fluoride for an extra boost of protection against tooth decay.




QUIT SMOKING

Research has shown that people who smoke (or chew tobacco) are more than twice as likely as nonsmokers to develop gum disease. This is because tobacco use impairs your immune system, making it harder to fight off infections. Not to mention, smoking turns your teeth yellow and gives you seriously bad breath. You’re much better off quitting.





LIMIT SUGARY FOODS AND DRINKS

When you eat or drink something sugary, bacteria in your mouth feed on those sugar particles and leave behind a destructive waste product that erodes your enamel. This is actually what causes cavities. However, if you abstain from these sugary items, the bacteria have nothing to feast upon, severely limiting the number of cavities you’ll develop.

Being stuck at home gives you ample time to focus on your oral health habits. Follow the advice in this post and your teeth and gums should remain healthy until your dentist reopens their practice for checkups and cleanings.




Hello, friend. Welcome to Thrive Dental and Orthodontics! We're here to support you and answer your dental questions so come say hello!

GET MY FREE GUIDE

Learn the easy steps I teach my patients for a lifetime of cavity-free teeth.

Download

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HI, WE'RE DRS. COUGHLIN

HOW TO PREVENT CAVITIES IN KIDS FOR LIFE