Everything you eat and drink has an effect on your oral health. Some things will be helpful for your teeth, while others are harmful. Knowing the difference and modifying your diet accordingly can go a long way towards avoiding dental diseases like cavities, gingivitis, and periodontitis. Today, we’re covering some of the most popular beverages and why they may be an excellent choice for oral health, or not.
Soda is one of the most common beverages available in America. Unfortunately, it’s also full of sugar, which is well-known to cause cavities. The University of Illinois in Chicago wants you to keep in mind that sugar itself isn’t necessarily harmful, but it enables bacteria and acid, which are two major contributors to cavities and tooth decay. Although some bacteria in your mouth is completely normal, too much can be a problem. Bacteria feeds on sugar, so when you drink sugary beverages, the bacteria grows and becomes plaque. This plaque helps bacteria stay around longer and it creates acid which wears down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. When this bacteria forms near the gums, it can cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis will become periodontitis, which leads to tooth and jaw bone loss.
Coffee, Tea, and Wine
Many other beverages contain high amounts of acid, just like soft drinks. Coffee, tea, and wine are all culprits. However, they also have another effect that can ruin your smile. Staining on your teeth is inevitable, as nearly everything you consume will leave stains over time. With darker beverages like coffee, tea, and wine, you are more likely to develop heavier stains much more quickly than lighter-colored food and beverages. Although staining itself isn’t necessarily harmful, it can be embarrassing in some situations and leave you feeling self-conscious about your smile. Periodic teeth whitening can help lighten the stains, along with proper brushing and flossing, and rinsing with water after drinking one of these beverages.
There are many reasons parents are encouraged to offer their children milk as a beverage over other options. The main reason is because it has calcium, which is helpful for strong bones and teeth. In fact, it’s recommended that children up to 1 year old exclusively drink dairy milk since this is the time in life when their bones are growing the fastest. Although milk contains sugar and acids just like soft drinks, coffee, tea, and wine, it also has calcium and phosphate which act as a buffer. Tooth enamel absorbs the calcium and phosphate, which makes it stronger. There are also other components that help prevent bacteria from sticking to your teeth and becoming plaque. These nutrients can be found in a wide variety of dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Filtered water has many health benefits. But it might also be keeping away minerals your body needs to be strong and healthy, like fluoride. The most common source of naturally occurring fluoride is in your home’s tap water. Fluoride acts like a protective barrier over your teeth to keep them strong and resist sugar, acids, and bacteria from building up and causing cavities or gingivitis. If you’re unable to find fluoridated water, your dentist in Vero Beach, FL, may want to use dental sealants on your teeth. Many insurance policies will cover the cost of these twice per year for children, but adults shouldn’t assume this means they don’t need fluoride sealants. As long as you have your natural teeth, you should make sure to get plenty of fluoride in your diet.
Learn More from Your Periodontist in Vero Beach, FL
If you have tooth pain, heat or cold sensitivity, or red and inflamed gums, speak with your dentist in Vero Beach about your tooth enamel. Depending on the severity of your problem, you may be referred to Vero Implants & Periodontics for further treatment. We offer a wide range of periodontal services in our Vero Beach dental office, including dental implants, surgical cleanings, and bone and tissue regeneration. Please call us at 772-569-9700 to schedule a consultation or have your dentist reach out to us.