The Best & Worst Summer Beverages for Your Teeth
With the mercury rising fast around Fuquay-Varina, we know you’ll want to reach for a cold drink for a bit of relief. However, many of our favorite summer drinks are damaging to our teeth, causing decay and cavities. To help you stay cool and hydrated while maintaining a healthy smile, our family dentistry office is sharing the best and worst summer beverages for your teeth and how you can avoid teeth stains that require whitening services.
Our Favorite Drinks for Dental Health
If you’re feeling thirsty or want to enjoy a delicious drink, but you have sensitive teeth or don’t want to do any damage, here are some safe options to reach for on a hot day!
Still water, either tap or bottled is the best thing you can drink to stay hydrated and keep your teeth healthy! Not only does it not contain sugar or acids that can damage tooth enamel and cause cavities, it rinses away sugar, food, and other debris. Tap water also has fluoride, which can prevent decay and strengthen teeth.
Iced Green Tea
If you need a bit of a caffeine lift, unsweetened, iced green tea is an excellent choice. Unlike black tea, it doesn’t stain teeth and can actually support a healthy smile.
It’s packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and catechins. These three things combined can reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, which reduces risk of infection and improves your dental health!
If you prefer a sweet drink, add liquid stevia, which is dental friendly, or xylitol which is shown to be beneficial to teeth!
Low-Sugar Green Juice
Green juices made with celery, cucumber, kale, and spinach are packed with calcium and B vitamins that improve your dental health, making them a great option! However, store-bought green juices often rely on large amounts of fruit juice to sweeten them, which can be damaging. To ensure the health of your green juice, check the label for the sugar content or make your own and sweeten it lightly with fresh apple or carrot!
The Worst Summer Beverages for Your Teeth
To avoid any extra trips to your Fuquay-Varina family dentist, it’s best to avoid the following drinks this summer, or at least enjoy them in moderation!
Nothing says summer like lemonade, right? The problem is that lemonade packs a double punch when it comes to your dental health:
- Citrus is highly acidic, which erodes tooth enamel.
- It’s high in sugar which feeds bacteria and causes tooth decay and cavities.
If you’re spending a lot of time in the heat, playing sports, doing yard work, or engaging in other activities, you may think a sports drink is your best option. Many of these have sugar listed as their first ingredient, so not only are they bad for your teeth, they may not be as beneficial to your hydration as you think.
Sweet Iced Tea
In Fuquay-Varina, and throughout North Carolina, sweet tea is a part of cultural cuisine, but not only can the tannins in tea stain your teeth, the sugar can lead to decay. If you absolutely must enjoy a glass of iced tea, make it with stevia or xylitol, and sip through a straw to prevent stains to your teeth.
Just like iced tea and lemonade, soda is high in sugar and is one of the worst things period you can drink. Even diet sodas aren’t optimal as the acidity can cause damage on it’s own.
Reduce Your Risk of Tooth Decay
From our family dentistry office’s perspective, it would be ideal for you to never touch an acidic or sweetened beverage, but we also know that’s not exactly realistic! Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the damaging effects of sugar-sweetened, staining beverages:
- Rinse or drink water after drinking soda, iced tea, lemonade, or sports drinks.
- Avoid tooth brushing for 20 minutes after drinking an acidic beverage while enamel is soft.
- Use a straw to reduce exposure and staining.
- Don’t sip drinks slowly and “nurse” a drink for 30+ minutes.
Contact Our Fuquay-Varina Family Dentist for a Checkup!
Whether you mostly drink water or prefer sodas and teas, you may be due for a professional teeth cleaning and checkup! Contact our family dentistry practice today at (919) 552-2431 or fill out our appointment request form.