What are YOU drinking?
What you drink has a significant impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Below are a few misconceptions about how your beverage choice affects your dental health. Also, check out how your favorite beverage stacks up in the chart below.
I only drink juice, flavored waters and teas, so my teeth will be okay!
WRONG! The acid hurts the tooth regardless of the vehicle. Orange juice in excess wears enamel away, however; orange juice with calcium added negates the citric acid. Even some herbal teas register as acidic. If the beverage bubbles, chances are there is some type of acid added.
I only drink one soda a day, it won’t hurt me.
WRONG! How you drink is more important than what you drink. A sip or swish of sports or soft drinks every 10-30 minutes, for example, exposes your teeth for hours on end to sugar and acid. Even if the amount is one can or bottle, not enough time has elapsed between sips for the teeth to return to their normal hardness.
Brushing after drinking soda will help protect my teeth.
WRONG! The worst time to brush is immediately after a swallow of soda, sports drink or juice. The acid softens the enamel, so when an abrasive agent (toothpaste) is used mechanically (brushing), it removes layers of enamel. After consuming acidic drinks, it is better to swish the mouth with water and wait one hour to brush to decrease the amount of tooth lost.
It doesn’t matter what I drink. I have sealants.
WRONG! Sealants physically protect the grooves of the back chewing teeth, which prevent bacteria from entering the tooth from the grooves. Sealants do not protect the tooth from any smooth surface cavities which are the most common decay pattern seen with sweetened, acidic drinks. The smooth surfaces are the tongue side, the cheek side and in between the teeth. When sealants are exposed to excess acid the enamel around the sealant melts away leaving a sealant island.
Diet soda won’t hurt my teeth.
WRONG! Diet sodas have the same acid content as regular soft drinks. People often consume even greater quantities of diet soda, falsely thinking it is a harmless, calorie-free liquid. When acid softens the enamel it takes hours for the enamel to recover. The erosive effect is cumulative: the more a person drinks the more enamel is lost.
Check out http://www.drinksdestroyteeth.com for more information.