In this post, we’ll review the worst drinks for your teeth. You should limit your intake of these beverages because the sugar and acids are bad for dental health.
We recently wrote a post about the worst foods for your teeth. Some of them were obvious and other foods surprised some people. We’ll now review the worst foods for your teeth. Once again, it’s often sugar and acid that are the culprits that can harm your teeth.
With this information, we hope you’ll make choices to not overindulge in foods and drinks that are bad for your teeth. Everyone loves some of the items on these lists and we’re not saying you should never drink or eat them. You should be aware of the effects however so that you have the knowledge as to why you shouldn’t have them all the time.
Worst drinks for your teeth
Soda – Unless you’re three years old, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to you. Soda is packed with sugar as well as acid, both of which can harm your tooth enamel. Almost half of Americans drink at least one soda per day. Some of them drink two, three or more every day. This constant exposure to sugar and acid is not good for your teeth or your overall health. It harms your teeth and gives you empty calories that can cause weight gain. Try to limit your soda intake as much as possible and swish your mouth with water afterward.
Related: What Does Soda Do To Your Teeth?
Sports drinks – A lot of people have been misled by the “sports” in sports drinks. Something about adding that word to a beverage name makes people equate it with a healthy lifestyle. The truth is that some sports drinks have even MORE sugar in them than sodas do! They are also full of acids. Not only is all that sugar bad for your teeth but the empty calories in that drink may also have the opposite effect than you hoped for as well.
Related: How to Prevent Tooth Enamel Loss
Coffee – Coffee has one main negative effect on your teeth: it’s natural color can discolor your teeth. There are also varying levels of naturally occurring acids in coffee. The other negative is that many people add sugar to this otherwise sugarless beverage. This is where many people get the most damage to their teeth from. If you’re a fan of some of those flavored coffee drinks popular at chain coffee shops, those drinks can have as much sugar and as many calories, or more even than soda.
Tea – People often consider tea a healthy alternative to coffee, and it can be. But like coffee, it can stain your teeth and many people choose to add sugar to it as well. The antioxidants in tea can be helpful and some believe may increase your body’s defense against oral cancer. There are many different varieties of tea to choose from though. Black tea and other dark blends will stain your teeth more. A green or herbal tea will be less damaging to your teeth.
Related: What Foods Stain Teeth?
Citrus drinks – Citrusy drinks such as orange juice, grapefruit, apple and cranberry juices all have vitamin C and other helpful nutrients. But the also share the common issue with all the drinks on this list: high in sugar and on acid. It’s best that you limit your intake of these drinks, drink through a straw when possible, and swish your mouth with water after drinking.
Alcohol – A side effect of alcohol consumption is that it causes dry mouth and dehydration. Over time, these can lead to enamel and tooth decay and make you more susceptible to gum disease. There is also a connection between heavy alcohol use and mouth cancer. If you’re drinking red wine, you’re also going to stain your teeth with you drink it. White wine will stain less but it still acidic. As we would always recommend, drink responsibly.
With this information, we hope that you can make responsible choices. It’s okay to indulge once in awhile, but don’t let it cross the line into a bad habit that harms your teeth or your health.
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David Wilhite is an experienced dentist in Plano, Texas who takes the comfort of his patients seriously.