Every day we expose our smiles to any number of enamel-degrading foods and drinks. Wouldn’t it be good to know which substances were helping or hurting your smile? This short article from our Glendale dentists will help you make important daily dietary decisions. Let’s get started…
The number one drink option when it comes to refreshing your smile and hydrating your body is definitely water. Every time that you drink water, you prompt your mouth to produce saliva, which is your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria, freshening breath, and strengthening dental enamel. Importantly, water delivers these benefits without exposing your smile to any unnecessary and potentially harmful sugars and acids. Plus, in the United States our tap water is actually enriched with fluoride, a mineral that helps strengthen the outermost layer of your tooth.
On the other hand, soft drinks put your smile and oral health at risk, which is why we recommend that these drinks are enjoyed in moderation, only. As you probably already know, sodas contain a lot of sugar; and harmful oral bacteria use these sugars as fuel to survive. Additionally, soft drinks are pretty acidic, so when they come into contact with your teeth, they actually make your dental enamel temporarily softer than usual. It’s best to limit your consumption of soda, and, if you can, even cut these drinks out of your diet all together.
We often think about juice as being a healthy drink juice, specifically because juice has vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. The problem is that most juices are still potentially damaging for our smiles. Fruit and vegetable juices are packed with sugars, and they are usually acidic. This means that, like soda, juice creates an oral environment in which harmful oral bacteria can infiltrate our teeth. To protect your smile, you can consume juice in moderation, and rinse (not brush!) your mouth with water when you’re done.
Coffee & Tea
The most commonly experienced dental change related to coffee and tea consumption is the development of stains and enamel discoloration. This occurs because coffee and tea contain tannins, and tannins leave color deposits on our teeth. Some people also experience dental sensitivity when drinking hot tea and coffee; we encourage you to bring this up with your dental team as it may indicate that your enamel is damaged or thinning.
As you can see, different types of beverages can prompt a number of changes to your smile, especially as the effects of these drinks compound over time. Our Glendale dentists are here to help you minimize your risk of long-term dental damage and aesthetic problems. The best way to learn more or to schedule a personal consultation is to call our team—we’re here to help!