We all know that staying hydrated is important when exercising or spending time in the sun. With summer just around the corner here in Plano, TX, it’s time to be thinking about just how you are getting the hydration you need to stay healthy.
Hydration is particularly important for a healthy mouth. But not all forms of hydration are equal in the value it provides for your body. Everything we eat and drink has water in it – but which are healthy, helpful options and which are options that are actually harming your smile and our body? Let’s talk about some beverages you should avoid in order to stay better hydrated and protect your smile at the same time.
What You’re Drinking May Be Damaging Your Smile
Some beverages may help to keep you hydrated, but they are also harming your health. Let’s look at a few examples of this:
Sodas. Everyone orders a soda when they go out to dinner. Unless you are particularly health conscious, you might drink a few sodas a week (or in some cases, even in a day). But do you understand what these soft drinks are doing to your teeth?
Sodas are laden with sugar and acid. Sugar and acid are your teeth and gum’s worst enemy, next to poor hygiene habits. The combination can be incredibly hazardous to your oral health. Acid erodes your enamel and sugar can feed bacteria growing around your teeth and gums. This can contribute to cavities as well as to gum disease.
Fruit juice. While offering some nutritional value, fruit juice is often overloaded with sugar and chemicals. The added benefit of a few vitamins isn’t often worth the toll it takes on your teeth. Acid is also a huge deal when it comes to juices – the acid naturally occurring in fruit juice can be amplified by added chemicals and preservatives.
Hello cavities! Hello sensitive teeth!
If you just have to have your fruit juice, try to stick with the homemade fresh-squeezed kind, and less of the store-bought, from-concentrate, ultra-processed varieties.
Coffee. Coffee is a big one for working professionals. Millions of Americans stop by the local coffee shop on their way to work every morning to grab their daily dose of caffeine. The problem lies in the fact that this beverage is also overstuffed with sugar. Sugar is simply fuel for the bacteria growing around your teeth and gums.
Another issue with coffee is that it stains your teeth! Coffee is one of the worst things to drink if you want to keep your teeth bright white. If you have stained or discolored teeth, read about our teeth whitening services.
Tea and other sugary drinks. Sweet tea and sugary drinks like lemonade are staples during the hot summer months. However, these drinks are mainly just vehicles for sugar. These drinks also often have little or no nutritional value.
Tea, while not so bad on its own, is sometimes almost syrup-like when sweetened. We have already talked about what that amount of sugar can do to your teeth. In addition, black tea (even unsweetened) can stain your teeth almost as badly as coffee. If you’re looking for a good alternative, try unsweetened green or herbal tea for no sugar and less staining power.
Alcohol. Everyone knows the dangers of over-consuming alcohol, but does you consider the effect it has on your oral health? Alcohol is made by fermenting a certain substance (depending on the type of alcohol) with sugars and acids to create a chemical reaction. Unless you’re drinking pure alcohol (and you’re probably not), there’s a good chance your drink is loaded with extra sugar and chemicals to make it taste better.
Especially if you’re drinking fruity cocktails. Imagine the sugar content in a classic Piña Colada. Mixed drinks are bad news for your pearly whites.
Lucky for you, there’s a really simple way to avoid all of the bad things that come with drinking sodas, coffee, juice, tea, alcohol, and other sugary, acidic drinks. Just drink water! Learn about how to incorporate more water into your diet in our next blog: Why Water Is Better – Part 2.
If you’re experiencing pain or are otherwise concerned about your oral health, please call our office right away at (972) 398-2550 or use the form on our contact page to schedule an appointment. We’d love to help you have a happier, healthier smile.