You are what you eat, right? But what about what you drink? In fact, the human body is over 60% water. So shouldn’t the phrase be: you are what you drink?
That begs the question: what are you drinking? Coffee? Soft drinks? Fruit juice?
These beverages may be tasty and refreshing, but what are they doing to your teeth?
At Westwood Dental Smiles, right here in Los Angeles, we want to help you protect your oral health and make sure you keep a healthy smile to show off proudly. What you drink has a big effect on your oral health, as does what you don’t drink. If you are not drinking enough water, then you are putting your oral health at risk, along with the health of the rest of your body.
Let’s take a look at what some of those popular drinks are doing to your teeth.
Coffee – As one of the most popular drinks in the world, coffee can be found anywhere. From the trendy corner café, to 24 hour dive diner, coffee is everywhere. Some people drink it for the jolt of caffeine, while other simply enjoy the robust aroma and rich flavor.
The problem with coffee is twofold. It not only contains dark pigments that stain your teeth, it also is high in acid, which weakens your enamel, and that can lead to tooth decay. On top of this, most people load their coffee up with sweet additives. If you are taking your coffee with cream and sugar, or flavored syrup, then you are increasing the likelihood that your coffee is going to give you a cavity.
Soft drinks – Whether you call soda pops or soft drinks, these sugar filled carbonated beverages are consumed at an astronomical rate across the country. It should come as no surprise that sugary sodas are bad for your teeth. In fact, drinking them is one of the worse things you can do for your oral health. Soft drinks have all the sugar and acid you need for a strong case of tooth decay, and almost no vital nutrients. If you are drinking sodas as anything other than an occasional treat, then you are putting your health at risk.
Fruit Juice – Certainly, there could nothing wrong with drinking fruit juice. Fruit is good for you, isn’t? Yes, fruit is good for you, but fruit juice is less so. Fruit juice, especially if you buy it from the supermarket, is loaded with sugar and acid, and we’ve already established the issue with that. Even if you are juicing your fruit at home, it is still not as healthy as simply eating the actual fruit. One of the great health benefits to eating fruit is all the healthy fiber that come with it. When you drink only the juice, you are denying yourself all that fiber. Not to mention, even fresh squeezed fruit still contains sugar and acid, maybe not as much as the store bought kind, but still enough to damage your teeth.
Vitamin Water – If you’re drinking vitamin water, you may think you’re drinking water, but you’re not. In fact, what is marketed as “vitamin water” is closer to a soft drink than it is to H20. The ads for these drinks are typically targeted to athletes and make vague claims about health benefits and energy boosts, but any energy boost you get from vitamin water is likely just a sugar rush because these drinks are loaded with it. So if you need to quench your thirst after a workout, stick to plain old regular water and leave the vitamin water on the shelf.
Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining your health, and it is especially important for maintaining your oral health. For one thing, water will wash away food particles and bacteria before they get a chance to damage your teeth. On top of that, water will neutralize food acid that weakens your enamel. And, of course, water will hydrate you. Staying hydrated will ensure that your mouth can produce plenty of saliva, which will help protect your mouth from bacteria and acid.
So, put away all those other drinks and grab a glass of water. Keep a refillable bottle with you wherever you go. Drink a big glass of water first thing in the morning, and then keep drinking it throughout the day. Few things are more important to your health than drinking water, and few things are easier to do.
Westwood Dental Smiles is dedicated to protecting your oral health, so be sure to make regular visits to our LA office. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning and examination.