Beverages vs. Your Teeth: Which Are the Best and Worst Drinks?
Chances are you already know that sodas and other sugary beverages aren’t the best when it comes to proper dental care. But did you know that sparkling water can also put your teeth at risk for other dental problems? Certain beverages may taste great but might be doing more harm to your oral health than you think. To help give you greater insight into the types of drinks you’re putting into your body and their effects on your dental care, here are some of the best and worst beverages for your teeth.
Which drinks are good for your teeth?
Certain drinks are neutral when it comes to your dental care while others are actually beneficial for your teeth. The following drinks are some of the best for preventing cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease:
- Milk: Good news for the non-lactose intolerant crew: milk is actually one of the best beverages you can drink for your teeth. Milk is rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium and phosphorous, which help to strengthen your teeth and repair your enamel. Milk also contains vitamin D, which helps your body absorb other vitamins and minerals more effectively. For those who have lactose intolerance, you can actually help to strengthen your teeth by drinking milk substitutes that are high in calcium to get similar benefits.
- Green tea: Many people consume green tea for the caffeine, but green tea can also help to fight cavity-causing bacteria and to reduce inflammation. This is because green tea contains antioxidants, which also helps to get rid of your body’s free radicals. What’s more, green tea won’t stain your teeth the same way black tea will.
- White tea: White tea not only contains a high amount of antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and fight back against cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, but it also contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that naturally occurs in many foods and is also commonly found in drinking water. It’s also found in your teeth. Fluoride strengthens your teeth’s enamel, which makes white tea an awesome beverage of choice for your dental health.
Which drinks are deceiving?
Some drinks aren’t necessarily bad for your teeth. However, when these drinks are consumed in large quantities they can sometimes have adverse side effects. These drinks include:
- Sparkling water: Sparkling water is just water that’s been infused with carbon dioxide gas to make them fizzy. Occasionally, these drinks also include salt or sugar for additional flavoring. Unfortunately, the carbonation included in sparkling water could potentially be harmful to your teeth. One study found that sparkling water usually has a pH level between 2.74 and 3.34, which more erosive than orange juice, and could potentially wear away at your teeth’s enamel.
- Fruit juice: Fruit juice is a fan favorite, and not just for kids. Unfortunately, certain fruit juices expose you to a significant amount of acid compared to the actual fruit that juice is made from. For instance, cranberry juice has a pH level of approximately 2.6 while orange juice has a pH of 3.5. That means not only are your teeth being affected by the added sugar in the juice but also the acidity.
Which drinks are bad for your teeth?
Finally, we’ve arrived at some of the worst possible things you could be drinking for your oral health. Here are a few beverages you might want to leave at the store instead of pouring yourself a glass:
- Energy drinks: Coffee used to be the favorite when it came to caffeinating, but many people have been turning to energy drinks in recent years to get their energy. Unfortunately, many of these drinks don’t just contain caffeine. Energy drinks are highly acidic and regular consumption can do serious damage to your enamel, putting you at significant risk for cavities, and at least one out of five Americans has one or more untreated cavities already.
- Soda: Soda isn’t as bad for your teeth as energy drinks are, but that doesn’t make them any better to consume. Because soda contains both carbonation and high sugar content, drinking it not only hurts your enamel but also feeds the bad bacteria in your mouth.
There are many beverages out there that do good or evil to your teeth. Fortunately, visiting a Gainesville family dentist at least once every six months for a check-up and cleaning can help you fight back against dental damage. Gainesville Dental Associates are the dentists in Gainesville VA you can trust to provide you with the proper dental care you need. To learn more about our dental services or to schedule an appointment, contact Gainesville Dental Associates today.