Just because something isn’t good for your teeth doesn’t mean you have to cut it out of your diet altogether. Multiple popular beverages are known to soften and erode your enamel, but there are ways you can reduce the damage. Plus, knowing what products are good and bad for your teeth can help you make the right decisions for your oral health. Read on to find out what four beverages are known to cause damage, and how to consume them with minimal risk from a dentist in Columbia.
Whether you’re drinking red or white wine, these beverages are known to be incredibly acidic and rich in tannins. While there’s downsides to both, the best way to reduce staining is to brush your teeth before you drink. Tannins aggressively bind to plaque, and the less plaque you have on your teeth, the less discoloration will occur. Also, since your saliva helps neutralize acid, it’s a good idea to drink water and chew sugar-free gum after you have a glass of wine. This will help increase your saliva production and decrease your risk of enamel erosion.
Most people consume coffee that has sugary additions in it, like flavored syrups. This can increase your risk of developing cavities and create an environment perfect for harmful oral bacteria to thrive in. The best way to drink your coffee is black. In fact, a study published in 2009 showed that drinking roasted black coffee actually wards off bacteria known to cause cavities. You can also add a bit of white milk in it to help re-mineralize your enamel and dilute the dark, rich color of the beverage.
It’s no surprise that carbonated sodas, sparkling water, and other drinks aren’t good for your teeth. They’re incredibly acidic and cause enamel erosion. Whether they’re sugar-free or not, they can soften your enamel and make your teeth more vulnerable to harmful oral bacteria. To minimize the damage to your pearly whites, be sure to drink through a straw whenever possible. Also, be sure to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after drinking a carbonated beverage to prevent unnecessary enamel deterioration.
While hard liquor and beer can negatively affect your enamel, the worse part about consuming alcoholic beverages for your oral health is actually the mixers. Most people mix liquor, soda, and sugary fruit juices in drinks to make them test better. They also tend to crunch on the leftover ice afterward, which is known to increase the chances of damaging teeth. If you occasionally enjoy an alcoholic beverage, drink it through a straw and rinse your mouth with water afterward to increase saliva production and rinse away any lingering sugar.
While these beverages aren’t the best for your oral health, there are ways you can reduce the impact they have on your mouth. That way, you won’t have to completely cut them out. With a good oral hygiene routine at home and regular visits to your dentist in Columbia, you can keep your teeth healthy and looking great for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Philip Batson has called Columbia his home for most of his life and is passionate about serving his community. He focuses on providing high-quality preventive dental treatment that reduces his patients’ risks of developing severe oral health problems. As an active member of professional organizations such as the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, and more, he’s stays up-to-date with the latest advancements in his field. For questions or to get reliable and trustworthy care, visit Columbia Healthy Smiles’ website or call 573-875-7071.