MANY OF THE THINGS we drink are actually not good for our teeth, especially soda, fruit juice, and coffee. What options does that leave for the orally health conscious to quench their thirst? Fortunately, there are a few drinks that are much less likely to cause stains or contribute to enamel erosion and decay, making them much better for our teeth!
Milk is an important source of calcium, an essential component for healthy teeth and bones. A certain amount of enamel remineralization is possible if your body has the right building blocks available. Getting plenty of calcium is a great way to stock up on those building blocks to keep your teeth strong. If you are lactose intolerant, you don’t have to miss out because calcium-fortified soy milk is another great option.
One thing to be aware of, however, is that milk does have natural sugars. This is why it’s a bad idea to leave an infant with a bottle of milk over a long period of time. The longer the sugars in milk are left on the teeth, the more they feed oral bacteria, contributing to tooth decay. This is how a condition commonly known as “bottle rot” can happen for babies and toddlers.
While black tea, much like coffee and red wine, is prone to leaving stains on teeth, green tea and herbal teas do not. In fact, like milk, green and herbal teas actually have dental health benefits. Tea contains compounds called polyphenols, which help fight bacteria. Just be sure not to load your tea with sugar or even honey, as they cancel the health benefits of the polyphenols. If you enjoy plain tea, great. If not, sugar-free sweeteners are also a good option.
It might seem boring to include water on a list of mouth-healthy drinks, but it is absolutely essential to our overall health that we stay well hydrated! If we aren’t drinking enough water, we may not have enough fluid to produce saliva, which is the mouth’s first line of defense against acids and bacteria. The act of drinking water itself will also flush out remnants of food and sugary or acidic drinks, helping to keep our teeth clean until the next time we can brush.
What We Drink Is Only Part Of The Equation
Cutting back on some of the less healthy drinks in favor of drinking more water, milk, and green or herbal tea can make a big difference in our oral health, but it isn’t a substitute for other oral health habits. Make sure you’re also keeping up with your twice-daily brushing, daily flossing, and dental appointments every six months!
Keep your healthy resolutions for 2019, starting with your oral health! Smileboston Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry is a full service dental practice located outside of Boston in Brookline, Massachusetts. Visit Smileboston online to view our full menu of services ranging from general and cosmetic dentistry to dental implants and full smile makeovers. We’re here to keep your teeth healthy & happy. Start your year on the right foot by scheduling an appointment today!