We have all heard we are what we eat but have you come to think that with regards to your teeth, we are what we drink aswell!? In this article we’ll take a closer look at some of the best and worst drinks for your teeth and how you can avoid common pitfalls in the quest for a healthier mouth.
With many foods and drinks available from the supermarket you will be used to seeing nutritional information displayed, and some of this will be based on a traffic light system. Here we will use our own traffic light system to look at some of the best and worst drinks around for teeth.
GREEN LIGHT DRINKS
Water. Water is one of the best drinks you can have for teeth, especially when it has added fluoride in, which will strength the teeth. As you drink water your mouth is ‘flushed’ / cleaned clearing away sugars / bacteria and restoring the pH balance.
Milk. Milk is another important and good drink for teeth. Similar to fluoride, milk helps strengthen the teeth (and bones.) Milk also contains an ingredient called casein thought to help with tooth decay. Other properties of milk are also thought to strengthen tooth enamel.
Tea. Some studies have shown a good cup of tea can contain ingredients that deal with bacteria in the mouth which could otherwise cause cavities and other problems.
AMBER LIGHT DRINKS
Fruit juices. Fruit juice is often a misunderstood drink because it is inherently healthy, so why should it be an amber drink? The problem with fruit juices is that most contain a lot of sugar (naturally occurring in most cases, but still sugar none the less) and this can cause bacteria to increase as it is broken down in the mouth. Fruit juices are also often highly acidic drinks which can damage the teeth by being too strong / harsh to the enamel. This is why we advise that fruit juices should be consumed in moderation. Lower sugar options or adding water can help with these problems to some extent.
Alcohol. Most people like an occasional drink and as long as this is adhered to the impact on teeth should be fairly low. Remember that alcohol can dry out the mouth reducing the ability of saliva to work it’s magic. Certain drinks like wine can stain teeth, and most drinks are loaded with various forms of sugar which can be a problem.
DEFINITE RED LIGHT DRINKS
Fizzy drinks. When it comes to teeth these are number one avoid. Similarly to fruit juices fizzy drinks contain high levels of sugars and acids. These can both wear away at enamel, leading to cavities and causing teeth problems. Some people believe the ‘diet’ or sugar free versions of these are a good alternative but remember these only solve the sugar issue and not the acid issue. They will still be bad for your teeth.
Energy / Sports drink. Whilst these may be good for your performance they are a disaster for teeth. Some studies have shown that these energy drinks contain more sugar that regular fizzy drinks.
The trouble with drinks is that most people don’t realise what they are drinking and how this relates to the ‘traffic light’ system. If you find yourself drinking a lot from the red section our advice is to try and make a few changes in order for you to maintain good oral health for longer.
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Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year for 2019!