Monday, July 21, 2014

How Different Beverages Affect Your Mouth



How Different Beverages Affect the Health of Your Mouth



Everyone knows that some food and drink choices are healthier than others, but did you know that some drinks can cause mineral loss in your tooth enamel while others can help to strengthen enamel? It is important to know what kinds of affects different beverages have on your teeth, especially if you want to avoid tooth decay and the costs that come along with treating it. Additionally, a link has been found between oral health and overall health, so it is important to make sure you keep your pearly whites strong and do everything you can to avoid compromising the health of your teeth. If you are a big fan of sugary sodas, sports drinks, or even bottled water, here are a few things you should know about the affects they can have on your teeth.

Sodas

Sodas have developed a very bad reputation due to their high amount of calories and their contribution to obesity. However, we don’t often talk about how bad soft drinks are for dental health. Because they are made with very high levels of sugar and acid, these sweet drinks contribute to tooth decay and loss of tooth enamel. Over time, excessive consumption of soft drinks can contribute to the excessive growth of bacteria in the mouth and can lead to the development of cavities. 



Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are commonly consumed by athletes and regular individuals who exercise regularly. While these drinks perform the important function of restoring electrolyte levels in the body after they have been depleted through sweat, they can also be very harmful to the teeth due to their high acid and sugar content. To avoid damage to the teeth, it is important to limit consumption of sports drinks and hydrate with water instead. 



Bottled Water

Bottled water is free from sugar and acid, but some dentists are still concerned about it being used excessively. The reason for this concern is because most bottled water does not contain fluoride, and fluoride has been shown to strengthen teeth, especially in children whose teeth are still developing. If individuals only consume bottled water, they may not receive an adequate amount of fluoride for optimal dental health. 



Better Beverage Options

Since it is recommended that you avoid sodas and sports drinks and even excessive amounts of bottled water, what types of beverages should you choose to drink in their place? In the article “The Differences Between Regular, Soy and Almond Milk”, the nutritional values of cow’s milk, soy milk, and almond milk are compared side-by-side. While all three are great choices for dental health due to their calcium content, almond milk has a higher percentage of calcium than cow’s milk or soy milk. This makes it a great alternative for individuals who suffer from lactose intolerance. Fluoride-fortified tap water is also a wise beverage choice for individuals who are concerned about keeping their teeth strong and healthy.





Moderation

For some people, staying completely away from sugary drinks is simply not a realistic option and is not conducive with their lifestyle. However, oral health may still be maintained by restricting the consumption of these types of drinks and choosing healthier beverage options whenever possible.  





5 comments:

  1. We typically avoid sodas and juices in our house but I didn't realize some of these things! And yes, moderation is definitely key!

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  2. I drink diet soda but only let my kids drink water.

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  3. Look more into the fluoride thing! Studies have actually shown oral fluoride isn't helpful to teeth, drinking it isn't actually that healthy! It has been a long standing myth and many places are now removing it from the water! It is best used topically in tooth paste! :)

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    1. Yes I do agree with you Kimberly that it should only be in toothpaste.

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  4. I’m with Kimberly on the bottled water. There is no way that I could survive on essentially drinking milk and approved water. Good lord. Oral hygiene is important to me and I want to protect my teeth but I am not a big fan of milk and there is only so much water that one can drink. This is definitely a Debbie Downer.

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