Are Your Favorite Drinks Eroding Your Teeth?

Is soda your beverage of choice? Or do you prefer fruit juices or teas? Or, perhaps you’re an athlete and you regularly chug sports drinks after your workouts and events? If any of these sound familiar, your favorite beverages may be quenching your thirst and harming your dental health at the same time, according to research published in the Dental Tribune.

The acids present in the kinds of drinks listed above can lead to the development of dental erosion, a condition in which the protective enamel coating on the teeth is worn away. Without that enamel, the teeth are exposed to infections and bacteria (which can develop into cavities) and become brittle and sensitive, often resulting in increased pain when dental issues arise.

A Relatively New Phenomenon
Before the increased consumption of these beverages became so widespread – especially in the last couple of decades, dental erosion was usually seen in people with acid reflux disease or people with eating disorders whose teeth are exposed to acids from the stomach and gastrointestinal system.

Dental erosion is difficult to catch it the early stages, so prevention is key. Limit your consumption of sodas, sports beverages, herbal teas and highly acidic fruit juices, such as pineapple juice, as much as possible. Brush and floss your teeth as soon as possible after drinking those beverages. At a minimum, swish around a cup of water and spit it out to rinse away at least some of the acids.

Overall good dental hygiene and dental health will help keep erosion at bay and ensure that your teeth are healthy throughout your life.  For centuries, a variety of natural remedies have been used to improve dental health, including:

Calcium. An essential building-block of healthy teeth, calcium is needed on a regular basis by both children and adults to maintain healthy bone structure.

Fluoride. This nutrient, which strengthens teeth and makes them more resistant to decay, is added to public water systems and is available in many mouthwashes.

Bloodroot. Several studies indicate that this herb can reduce tooth plaque.

Green tea. Unlike herbal teas, green tea leaves contain fluoride and other compounds that work together to prevent tooth decay.

Bergamot. This herb contains thymol, an antiseptic compound that is a common ingredient in mouthwashes that fights tooth decay.

And of course, be sure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and exams to ensure that you dental health efforts are effective!

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