Daily brushing and flossing are essential for oral health, but did you know that what you eat or drink has an impact on your dental health too? Eating a balanced nutritionally rich diet helps promote healthy teeth and gums. Most of us know what foods we should eat, but at times without realizing it reach for items that may actually be harmful. The American Dental Association lists the following as beverages that maybe harmful to your teeth:
- Ice. Yes, ice is just frozen water, but chewing on hard substances can damage the enamel and lead to a dental emergency. Let your ice just cool your beverage, not break your teeth.
- Coffee. Your early morning pick-me up maybe bad for your teeth. Coffee is considered an acidic beverage, so resist adding sugar to your drink. The caffeine which dries out your mouth, plus the acid and sugar can leave you more susceptible to tooth decay. Coffee is also a major contributor to stains on the teeth. If you do partake, be sure to drink plenty of water and keep the sugar to a minimum.
- Soda. Oh, we all know it is not good for our teeth. Regular soda is high in sugar content. Both regular and diet sodas contain citric and phosphoric acids. The caffeine dries out your mouth. All of this is a recipe for disaster and promotes tooth decay. It is better to curb the consumption and reach for a glass of water.
- Limit Alcohol Consumption. Alcohol causes dry mouth; which overtime can lead to cavities and gum disease. Heavy alcohol consumption increases the risk of oral cancer.
- Sports Drinks. Take a look before your drink. Sugar maybe one of the top ingredients in some of these beverages. As well as being high in sugar content, many are also high in acid content. Be sure to the read the ingredient first. Unless you are engaged in extreme activities a glass of water maybe a better choice.
Moderation is the key if you do consume any of the above beverages. If you are regularly drinking acidic beverages be sure to use a straw and rinse or drink with water immediately after. Wait 20 minutes before brushing so you are not just brushing away your enamel with the acid. If you have any questions about your nutrition and how it impacts your oral health ask your dentist or dental hygienist. They are trained professionals and can help develop a plan to improve your overall dental health.