If you want to improve your oral health, you are probably familiar with some of the basic healthy habits like brushing and flossing your teeth every day. But did you know that changing your diet can also greatly impact the health of your teeth and gums? You may be surprised by what a positive impact simply changing your beverage habits can have on your oral health. Here are a couple of the best—and worst—beverages for your teeth.
Not surprisingly, water is at the top of our list for a healthy drink choice. Drinking water throughout the day not only keeps you hydrated, it also helps dilute acids created by the bacteria in your mouth. If you drink water while you eat a meal, with each sip it gives your teeth a quick rinse and washes away some of the food particles and cavity-causing germs that tend to linger on your teeth. Drinking water also helps your mouth make plenty of saliva, and saliva is crucial in fighting tooth decay and bad breath. Finally, if you drink water with fluoride in it (and most water does have fluoride in it), you are doing even better things for your teeth. Fluoride, known as “nature’s cavity fighter,” is a great way to strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.
It’s pretty simple: juice contains sugar, and sugar is not good for your teeth. Sugar negatively affects your oral health because it causes bacteria to grow on teeth, and that bacteria produces acid that causes tooth decay. In addition to the sugar, most juice is very acidic, and eventually these acids will cause damage to your teeth as well as produce unwanted stains. It’s not necessarily vital that you cut out juice altogether, but we do suggest cutting back if you find yourself drinking more than one serving of fruit juice a day.
Milk is filled with mouth-healthy vitamins, minerals, and proteins and will do wonders for your teeth. Milk is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, two important minerals that play a huge role in keeping your mouth healthy. In addition to strengthening tooth enamel, these minerals also help make your jaw healthy and strong. Vitamin D, another main ingredient of milk, helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, as well as decreases inflammation in the gums.
As has already been stated, sugar is terrible for your teeth because it causes tooth-decaying bacteria. Considering most sodas contain large amounts of sugar, this is reason enough to greatly limit—if not completely cut out—your soda intake. However, before you think you’re doing fine by only drinking diet soda, you should know that all sodas (even sugar free ones) are extremely acidic, causing the enamel on your teeth to erode and leaving your teeth exposed to germs and decay.
Just like it takes time getting in the habit of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day, getting in the habit of drinking more water and milk and less juice and soda may take some time and effort. However, we are confident that paying closer attention to what you drink and making healthy decisions will have a positive effect on your oral health.