A while back we posted a blog on the best foods for teeth and although we talked about drinks, we didn’t do anything specific. You may be asking what drinks are good for teeth / what should you avoid and why? Read on as you may be surprised with some of the answers.
Some of the best…
Water – As we at least stated in our previous article, water is essential for teeth and all round health. We get that it tastes plain and there is nothing much to it, but ensuring you have adequate water intake each day is essential. Drinking water specifically has a number of useful affects for teeth. The fluoride often present in the water helps to strength the teeth, while the act of drinking provides a form of flush / rinse of the mouth area for acids and bacteria.
Milk and other calcium based drinks – The clue is in the title here, calcium is one of the most important ingredients for teeth which are found in all dairy products. By regularly drinking milk, you are strengthening bones and making your teeth stronger. Calcium also contains an ingredient called casein which can help make tooth enable become more robust.
Vegetable juice & purees – Again, this may not sound like your perfect cocktail or tipple but vegetable juices are useful if you are thinking about drinks related to health teeth. Just as vegetables are important to eat, it would make sense that any liquid variation of these would also be beneficial. Look for juices with low fruit content (we will see why shortly.) Generally green / dark green veg juices are the best containing important vitamin and nutrients which contribute to good oral and overall health.
Tea – Whilst tea can stain teeth, unsweetened tea is generally regarded as a good drink for teeth. For example, some studies have shown it can help reduce gum disease or prevent oral cancer. Clear teas (including green tea) are often seen as one of the best as it is less likely to produce staining.
Some of the worst…
Fizzy Drinks – most people have got the hang of this and realise that fizzy drinks are bad for your teeth but the message doesn’t always go home. We are only human and so will drink fizzy pop from time to time, but remember to limit this as much as possible. Often a case where people slip up is they will change from sugar to sugar free pop and think this is fine. All fizzy drinks have high acid contents which will damage the teeth (this includes the sugar free varieties.) If you must drink fizzy pops then try through a straw as it can limit the damage somewhat.
The same principle also applies to sports / energy drinks, so check labels to see what is actually inside the can or bottle.
Fruit juices – this is often one that confuses people as fruit juices are often labelled as healthy or inherently good for you. The problem with fruit juices (orange juice, apple juice etc) is they contain naturally high sugar contents. Bizarrely, in some cases, some fruit juices ca n actually can contain more sugar than fizzy pop, which is why we as dentists encourage caution around drinking fruit juice. It is the sugar and the acidic nature of these fruits that can often cause problems for teeth. Alternatives would be to add water to your juice or look for lower sugar options.
Alcohol – many of us drink to some extent but as a general rule alcohol is bad for teeth. Alcohol contains many of the offending properties that we already explored in other drinks above – e.g. high sugar content or being highly acidic. Depending on what you drink, certain alcohol drinks also have a greater ability to stain teeth also (e.g. red wine.)
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