The drinks we choose can have a significant impact on our health, starting from the very first moment they pass through our lips. In addition to promoting various health problems, certain drinks can soften tooth enamel and fuel bacteria, leaving us more vulnerable to tooth decay. Here are six popular beverages that can land you in the dentist’s chair.
Top 6 Drinks that Are Worst for Your Teeth
Soft drinks contain carbonation, acids and large amounts of sugar, which can all damage teeth. High acid levels erode tooth enamel, making your teeth prone to decay. Carbonated beverages also dry out the mouth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria. Even diet sodas have been linked to tooth decay; in fact, research suggests they could be especially harmful because people tend to drink them on a daily basis.
Coffee can dry out the mouth, stain the teeth and erode enamel. You can reduce the potential for damage by drinking plenty of water afterward. You can also dilute the acidity of coffee by adding milk. That said, it’s generally best to steer clear of iced tea, which has a very low pH between 2.5-3.5. Iced tea is also often loaded with sugar which can promote tooth decay.
Like other alcoholic beverages, wine can dehydrate the mouth. Red wine can also stain the teeth; even white wine has been shown to increase the risk of dental stains. Wine is also acidic, which can weaken your enamel and promote sensitivity.
4) Sports Drinks
Marketed as healthy ways to replenish electrolytes, sports drinks can seriously harm your oral health. Loaded with cavity-causing sugars, these beverages also contain enamel-weakening acids. Unless you are a competitive, high-level athlete, choose water to hydrate after workouts.
5) Carbonated Water
In recent years, more and more people have turned to carbonated water as a replacement for their soda addictions. Even though it doesn’t contain sugar, carbonated Water can harm your oral health. In addition to wearing away enamel, this drink can eliminate protective saliva and promote dry mouth.
6) Fruit Juices
While it may be natural, 100% fruit juice is still bad for your teeth. Because it’s concentrated, fruit juice bathes your teeth in acid. It’s also very high in sugar which allows oral bacteria to proliferate much more rapidly. To reduce damage, you can dilute fruit juice with water to lessen the sugar and acidic content.
If you frequently drink any of the above beverages, it’s important to visit your dentist to check for potential damage early on before it develops into serious, expensive problems.