Sugary drinks are a major component of tooth decay and disease. When you consume sugary drinks, the sugar fuels acid and bacteria production, and the acids cause dental erosion, eating away at the tooth enamel and causing cavities. In some cases, sugary drinks are themselves acidic, and this adds to the severity of enamel erosion, especially if you drink them frequently.
These five sugary drinks are some of the worst beverage choices for dental health:
It’s widely known that drinking soda has no health benefits, but are you aware just how bad it is for you, and especially for your teeth?
The American Heart Association recommends that adult males consume no more than 37.5 grams of added sugar per day, and women consume no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day. One 12-ounce can of cola contains 33 grams of sugar.
Even drinking one or two cans of soda can have detrimental effects on your health, and that much sugar exposure is never good for your teeth.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee and tea are acidic and can stain your teeth. But when you add sugar and lemon juice into the mix, it becomes even more problematic. Coffee and tea are normally sipped slowly over time, so the added sugar is constantly washing over your teeth, producing acids that soften the enamel.
Wine can stain your teeth a pinkish color, but it’s the acids and sugar in some mixed drinks that are especially bad for your enamel. In addition, alcoholic properties contribute to a general decline in oral health. Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop sores, plaque, decay and oral cancer.
Sports and Energy Drinks
Don’t be fooled by marketing tactics: Sports and energy drinks aren’t healthy and they’re definitely not good for your teeth. These sugary drinks are just that: extremely sugary. Some energy drinks have more sugar than soda. Don’t hydrate with sugar — the best way to keep yourself alert and focused is to drink water, the best zero-calorie beverage available.
Citrus juices contain high amounts of sugar and acid, so they’re not the ideal choice of beverage either if you’re worried about oral health. However, they do contain many other vitamins that promote general health, which redeems them somewhat.
If possible, try to find low-sugar or reduced-acid types of citrus juices to give your tooth enamel a break.
What Can You Do?
Try to replace your consumption of these sugary drinks with water as much as possible. Or drink the entire beverage right away, rather than sipping on it throughout the day, so your teeth are exposed to sugars and acid for as short a time as possible. Also, use a straw so the liquid doesn’t come into contact with your teeth as much.
Stay on top of your regular dental checkups by booking an appointment with Oak Hills Dentistry, and remember to avoid sugary drinks as much as possible.