Tooth enamel is the substance that protects the softer tissues of our teeth from decay,
infection, staining, and more. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, but
that doesn’t mean it can’t be damaged.
In fact, tooth enamel is porous, which means it can be affected by the things that we eat or
drink. It’s especially susceptible to damage when proper oral hygiene isn’t being practiced,
which can lead to erosion of the tooth enamel.
Which beverages can erode enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity and decay?
Alcohol is one of the most damaging beverages for your smile. Not only is it corrosive, but it can
stain teeth if you’re a red wine drinker. Alcohol can quickly work to erode tooth enamel if you
don’t rinse your mouth with water. Going to sleep after a night of drinking without brushing
your teeth is the worst! If you drink alcohol, sip with water and be sure to limit your
consumption as much as possible. Alcohol is also a risk factor for oral cancer!
Soda’s sugar content makes it a huge culprit when it comes to eating away at tooth decay.
Unfortunately, diet sodas aren’t much better—their artificial sweeteners tend to be very acidic
too, which can also damage tooth enamel. Soda is not a safe beverage choice for your smile and
is best avoided or enjoyed in moderation at most. Instead, enjoy seltzer water, which is easier
on your enamel and bonus: it has less calories!
Fruit juice might seem like the healthier choice compared to alcohol or soda. However, this
simply isn’t true. Fruit juice—especially those made from citrus fruits—can result in just as
much enamel damage as soda or alcohol. These types of juices include orange juice, lemonade,
grapefruit juice, and even cranberry juice. Juice should also be enjoyed in moderation followed
by water, and children shouldn’t have juice as their main source of fluid intake.
Energy drinks provide double trouble for those seeking a boost. They not only contain caffeine,
which tends to be acidic on teeth, but also sugar. Don’t forget that artificial sweeteners can be
just as damaging. Some research shows that energy drinks are actually worse for your teeth
than soda! Instead, make your own energy drink with water, a pinch of sea salt, and some fresh
fruit, or enjoy coconut water instead.
Sports drinks are another tooth enamel nightmare. They often contain acidic dyes and sugar,
making them not too different from soda. Sports drinks are marketed as being healthier and
safer than soda, although research is lacking to prove this is true. When it comes to your tooth
enamel, water still remains your safest bet. Skip the sports drinks to help your teeth!
Our mouths are hugely affected by the foods and drinks we choose to consume. You can
choose to skip the above drinks to help protect your tooth enamel. Through making healthier
beverage choices and keeping up with your oral hygiene, you can be sure to have healthy tooth
enamel and reduce your risk of cavities and sensitive teeth!