It isn’t just food that can affect our teeth. Drinks can have a significant impact too.
When we think about tooth decay, we probably think about all the sugary foods that we eat, especially sweets which are kept in the mouth and sucked or chewed for some time.
It is certainly true that what we eat can cause tooth decay and other problems, but drinks are also increasingly seen as a major factor in the rise of tooth decay, especially in children.
In today’s blog, our Tunbridge Wells dentists take a look at some of the more popular drinks that can have a negative impact on our teeth, both from the point of enamel erosion and decay, but also aesthetically.
Fizzy sugary drinks
This is probably the number one enemy of healthy teeth right now. The high sugar content in these drinks, often combined with high acidity levels, can be devastating for our teeth. Not only will the sugar fuel the bacteria that cause damage, but the acids also erode the enamel of our teeth, making decay and other problems more likely.
Most alcoholic drinks contain sugar. Even where this is low, alcohol consumption can be problematic for a healthy mouth. Whilst the odd drink should be relatively harmless providing that you clean your teeth well, regular alcohol consumption increases the risk of infections, gum disease and even oral cancers. So please keep your alcohol consumption to a sensible level.
Patients of The Calverley Dental Practice may have read about the harm that fruit teas can cause, quite recently. Although a refreshing alternative to other hot beverages, the combination of high acidity levels in them, and the fact that we tend to hold the liquid in our mouth a while before swallowing, means that the enamel on our teeth is exposed to the acids for longer periods of time. Regular consumption then, is more likely to lead to damaged enamel.
Strong coffees such as espresso may contribute to discoloured teeth, but some of the less intensely flavoured ‘speciality’ coffees damage our teeth because of their extremely high sugar content. Some have been shown to contain around 15 teaspoons of sugar; several times our total daily recommended amount.
Tea and red wine
Aside from any damage that drinks may do, tea and red wine are two of the worst culprits when it comes to having discoloured teeth. The tannins in these drinks causes the teeth to stain easily, causing them to darken and become dull. This can often be reversed using a teeth whitening procedure which we have available at our Tunbridge Wells practice.
Whilst it is perhaps unrealistic to expect patients to abandon these drinks altogether, it is certainly worth being aware of the issues associated with them. Alternating these drinks with water regularly will also be beneficial.
For further advice about the health or cosmetic care of your teeth, The Calverley Dental Practice can be contacted on 01892 543898.