Drink This Not That: Alternative Drinks for Sensitive Teeth
People often think about how food affects their health but forget that beverages can affect their teeth as well. Learn which factors irritate sensitive teeth and gums and find a few tooth-friendly drinks you can try today.
Factors to Consider Before Drinking Anything
Understanding how various drinks affect sensitive teeth is crucial to protect your dental health.
How Much Sugar Does It Have?
Constantly eating candy and gum can lead to tooth decay, as can drinking sugary beverages. Before opening your next soda or other bottled drink, check how much sugar it has. Although home remedies like brushing your teeth with coconut oil can kill bacteria along your gumline, it’s more challenging to reverse the damage done by sugar in tooth crevices without professional help.
Does the Drink Contain Acid?
Manufacturers add acid to drinks to enhance their flavor and make them more shelf-stable. Drinking acidic beverages too often will wear away at the parts of your mouth that influence your tooth sensitivity, like your enamel and dentin.
Are There Dyes in the Drink?
When you drink something, the liquid passes around your teeth and through the gaps between them. Frequently drinking dark beverages exposes your teeth to more dyes, leading to discoloration that affects your appearance.
Will There Be a Drying Effect?
Drinks that have a dehydrating effect will inhibit your saliva production. This factor can point to the worst drink for teeth because without saliva, bacteria lingers around the gum line and creates inflammation.
What’s the Drink’s pH Value?
Tooth-friendly drinks have nearly the same pH value as saliva. They won’t erode your enamel because the pH value is safe to linger in your mouth.
Drinks That Are Harmful to Your Teeth
Some drinks are riskier for your dental health than others.
Hot and iced coffee can be the worst drinks for teeth because they’re acidic and stain whatever they contact. If you enjoy drinking it, try sipping iced coffee through a straw so it passes over your teeth without making contact.
Most teas are harmful to your teeth due to their discoloration abilities. Its caffeine content can also irritate sensitive gumlines. Using a straw or swishing and spitting water after you finish your cup can fix this issue.
Alcohol generally damages your teeth, but wine presents a unique few challenges. It causes dehydration, stains teeth and has a pH level that can cause pain in sensitive mouths. Try drinking it at room temperature through a straw to avoid most of those issues if you drink wine frequently.
The best fizzy drinks for your teeth contain little to no sugar. Sugar promotes acid production in your mouth, creates cavities and triggers tooth decay that could require tooth removal. Straws will be your best friend if you can’t give up sugar drinks right away.
Although fruit is healthy, processed fruit juice is mostly artificial sugar. You can avoid cavities and tooth decay by sipping drinks through a straw, but fruit juice’s acid content may still cause irritation. Diluting juice with water could solve that issue if you don’t mind the diluted flavor.
Drinks That Cannot Harm Your Teeth
These are safer options if you’re drinking with your dental health in mind.
It’s never a bad idea to drink a glass of water. It hydrates your mouth, washes away bacteria and stimulates saliva production. Sparkling water is also one of the best fizzy drinks for teeth because it rarely includes added sugars or dyes.
Pure vegetable juice can be an excellent option for sensitive teeth. Vegetables typically don’t have a high acid concentration and have only all-natural ingredients. A juicer can help you make beverages at home to control what’s in your cup.
Most people wouldn’t feel surprised to learn that milk is one of the most tooth-friendly drinks. It fortifies your teeth with calcium and provides proteins that prevent gum diseases. Ensure you drink milk without added sugars to enjoy these benefits.
Green or White Tea
Although tea will stain your teeth, white and green teas are light enough to avoid that problem. They also have low pH values, so they shouldn’t irritate your gums. Green tea contains an added benefit too — its antioxidants fight gum inflammation.
Real Fruit Juice
Organic fruit juice won’t have the added sugars and dyes in store-bought juice. However, some fruit is naturally acidic. Apples, mangoes and strawberries are just a few to try with caution if you have sensitive teeth.
Dental Benefits of Drinking Milk
People encourage young kids to drink milk to fortify their bones, but it has other dental benefits too. It also contains nutrients like phosphorus, casein and vitamin D. These nutrients strengthen and repair decaying enamel while fighting gum disease.
Almond milk is an excellent substitute for anyone with lactose intolerance. Brands also make lactose-free cow’s milk if you don’t enjoy the taste of almonds. Either way, you’ll gain extra calcium in your diet and nutrients to shield your enamel.
Should You Drink Green or White Tea?
Green and white teas are great for your dental health but offer different benefits. Green tea has antioxidants that reduce inflammation caused by triggering dietary factors. It also kills bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath.
White tea has fluoride that prevents cavities. It also reduces how much plaque can form on your teeth with the tannins that fight plaque-causing bacteria. You’ll also enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of the antioxidants in white tea.
If you want to start drinking more tea, avoid adding too much added sugar or honey to each cup. The sweeteners will negatively impact your dental health, along with spiking your blood sugar.
Can Tap Water Harm Your Teeth?
Tap water can be good for your teeth, depending on your area. Countries have different standards for their water purification systems and common additives.
Research the public water system where you live if you don’t drink well water. Your local government will explain how it purifies your tap water and if it adds beneficial compounds like fluoride. Every sip will wash bacteria and food away from your teeth while protecting you against enamel erosion and cavities.
You can use tap water to make tooth-friendly drinks at home, but test your water if it comes from a well. It may contain pesticides or animal waste from the surrounding area. Experts recommend testing well water every six months to ensure it’s safe to drink.
Try Tooth-Friendly Drinks
It’s easy to find alternative drinks for sensitive teeth if you know which factors trigger issues like decay, inflammation, staining and erosion. Watch for things like added sugars and acid content before sipping your next beverage. You’ll protect your oral health and find more comfort with each refreshing drink.
Beth is the Managing Editor and content manager at Body+Mind. She shares knowledge on a variety of topics related to nutrition, healthy living, and anything food-related. In her spare time, Beth enjoys trying out new fitness trends and recipes.
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