Drink this, not that for a healthy smile

What you drink impacts your teeth! That’s why it’s important to be conscious of the beverages you consume and how they affect your smile.

Here are some beverages to drink and to avoid for good oral health.

Beverages to drink
If you choose any drink to keep around, it better be water! Water is vital to overall health and your smile’s health. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria and hydrates your mouth while promoting saliva production. If you didn’t know, saliva is crucial in neutralizing acids, washing away bacteria, and keeping tooth enamel strong.

Green tea is another powerful drink for a healthy smile, as it contains polyphenols—antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. These properties help to reduce the risk of gum disease and cavities.

Milk is not only a great source of calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth, but it also contains casein, a protein that helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities. Drinking milk can help reduce your risk of tooth decay.

Beverages to avoid
The basic rule when choosing drinks is to avoid sugar. Soda and sports drinks are both high in sugar content and can fuel the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth and produce acids that erode tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Limit your consumption of sugary drinks, and when you do indulge, use a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water afterward.

Acidic beverages such as citrus juices, energy drinks, and certain herbal teas can weaken tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth erosion. Over time, exposure to acidic beverages can lead to sensitivity and discoloration. If you consume acidic beverages, drink them in moderation and rinse your mouth with water afterward to help neutralize acids.

Alcoholic beverages, especially those with a high sugar content or acidic mixers, can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Alcohol also has a drying effect on the mouth, reducing saliva production and increasing the risk of oral infections and bad breath. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation and follow up with plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain oral health.

If it’s been a while since you visited the dentist, call Jackson Dental at (573) 243-5200 or visit us at 3100 E on Jackson Blvd to book an appointment.