To maintain great oral health and prevent cavities, consuming a healthy diet is crucial. When considering how we should change our diet, the first thought is always the food we eat. What you drink also affects your teeth.
While we're not telling you to only drink water forever, there are a few drinks you might want to cut back on and some you'll want to continue drinking for optimal dental health. Here are the best and worst drinks for your teeth:
Water cleanses your mouth with each sip. It washes away food particles, sugars and acids from your mouth. Plus, water does not contain any minerals that cause tooth erosion. If you plan on drinking tap water, even better! The tap water in Winnipeg contains fluoride, which helps strengthen your tooth enamel and protects against tooth decay.
Besides water, milk is the healthiest drink option for your teeth. The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) College of Dentistry stated that milk forms a protective film on the tooth surface, protecting the enamel from decay. Milk also contains calcium and phosphorus, minerals that help repair damage caused by tooth decay.
Have you heard of polyphenols? Polyphenols are antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and fight oral cancer. The mineral is often found in green tea and offers various other health benefits, such as killing or holding back bacteria in the mouth, according to the University of Rochester.
If you get tired of always drinking the above options, you could try coconut water which is an antioxidant-packed beverage. It's a great alternative to sport drinks and contains minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium. Just ensure you're purchasing from a brand with low sugar content.
These beverages are loaded with sugar and contain phosphoric and citric acids that wear away tooth enamel, contributing to cavities. Every time you consume a soda, the sugar will begin coating the teeth and feed on the bacteria living in your mouth. Even if you opt for a sugar-free soda option, the acidic ingredients in diet sodas can damage your enamel.
This may be bad news to coffee lovers, but coffee causes staining and it has the potential to wear down your enamel, leading to sensitivity problems. Fortunately, coffee isn't too acidic on its own, so if drunk without sugar and in moderation, it should be fine.
Like coffee, red wine stains the teeth. This might make you believe that reaching for a glass of white wine would be a better option, but white wine is very acidic. If you don't plan on cutting wine out entirely, try pairing it with some cheese to restore the pH balance in your mouth.
While fresh fruit juice can provide vitamins and minerals to your body, some juices from fruits like oranges and limes are highly acidic. Instead of drinking concentrated juice, try watering it down or drinking it from a straw to lower the risk of erosion. Eating the fruits by themselves will still provide you with the nutrients you need so you don't necessarily have to drink fruit juice to get your vitamins.
The best way to protect your teeth is to limit the amount of acidic and sugary drinks you consume. You should also be aware of the health benefits some drinks can offer your oral health. Understanding which drinks are good and bad for your mouth can help promote your dental health. And if you do indulge in drinks that aren't great for your teeth, be sure to drink plenty of water too! Water rinses away the acids, built up food particles and bacteria in your mouth between brushing and flossing.
If you need help maintaining a good diet and oral hygiene, book an appointment with us. Our team at Kildonan Crossing Dental Centre can answer any questions you have about your teeth. We're located in the strip mall at the northwest corner of Lagimodiere Boulevard and Regent Avenue. See you at your next appointment!