The things we eat, smoke and drink all have an impact on our teeth. Drinks can stain our teeth and over time the acidity found in most of our favourite drinks softens our enamel and makes our teeth vulnerable to cavities and sensitivity.
Pop is terrible for our teeth and waistline! It contains high amounts of acid and sugar, which are the two most damaging ingredients for our teeth. It is highly likely that most of the pops you consume contain more than the recommended daily intake of sugar in just one 500ml bottle. Enamel is also damaged by citric and phosphoric acids, which are often added alongside other harmful additives for taste and preservation.
Fruit juice sounds like the healthier alternative to pop. However, most fruit juices contain as much sugar as a bottle of pop. The majority of fruit juices are concentrated which means more acid as it’s not the fruit’s natural form. By all means don’t give up your glasses of juice. Try choosing a low sugar, never from concentrated option of juice and only pour half a glass.
An easy way to your 5 a day. Juicing vegetables is one of the best ways to intake important nutrients during our day. Drinking juice filled with vegetables is better than drinking fruit juices as it means less sugar intake.
Drinking dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale is a great way towards boosting your enamel health and getting your calcium and vitamin B intake, which helps fight against gum disease. To make vegetable juices easier to consume, try adding a low sugar fruit such as apples to your juice.
Enjoying a glass or two of wine is fine in moderation. White wine is more acidic, which makes it more aggressive to the enamel on our teeth. Red wine is better but more staining for our teeth. Consider drinking water while drinking red wine to wash out your mouth and rinse your teeth as you drink.
Research suggests that drinking green tea could have a positive effect on preventing decay and protecting gum health. Many brewed teas usually have a pH above 5.5 which makes them safer for enamel. Ice teas contain lots of sugar , whilst on the other hand have a low pH – around 2.5 – which means they are acidic enough to cause real damage to our enamel.
English dark teas are known for staining teeth, so it’s important to drink in moderation and also rinse with water after consuming.
The best drink for our teeth is water, of course. Water offers us a variety of benefits, including hydration for our body and teeth, helping produce saliva, which protects us from tooth decay. Water has no calories and restores pH balance. It also washes away leftover food, sugars, bacteria and acids from the mouth after eating/drinking.
Unfortunately, it’s not quite the healthy alternative to pop we hope for. Sparkling water usually has a pH level of 2.74 and 3.34 which means a bottle of sparkling water is much more erosive than a glass of orange juice. You could still enjoy the drink through a straw, which would lower the chances of damage.
Milk is rich in calcium which can help strengthen bones and teeth. It also contains a protein called casein which can help strengthen tooth enamel and fight tooth decay. Phosphorus is also in milk that helps strengthen tooth enamel that has previously dissolved from exposure to acids.
The worst drink for sugars and sodium levels. Some energy drinks contain 3x more sugar than the average bottle of pop. Energy drinks can be good for replacing vitamins and minerals lost during working out. Look for low sugar and natural ingredients in energy drinks to safely consume them.
Drinking water is not your only option when it comes to your daily beverage, but it should be the one you consume by litres daily. All the other drinks listed are fine in moderation and mindfully drinking through a straw or in small amounts.
Enjoy your beverages.