Five Beverage Hacks to Protect Your Teeth

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Five Beverage Hacks to Protect Your Teeth

Taking good care of your teeth and gums is fairly straightforward. Practice good daily oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. See your dentist every six months to have your teeth cleaned and get an oral health check-up.

However, many people want to know what else they can do to prevent cavities and gum disease and keep their smiles looking bright. Knowledge is power, as they say, and knowing more can help you do more to give your teeth every advantage in the fight against decay. Read on for some of Grant Park general dentist Abbey Lee’s favorite tips and trivia about beverages and oral health.

Are you looking for a great Grant Park general dentist? Dr. Abbey Lee can help you have the best oral health of your life. Contact us for general, restorative, or cosmetic dentistry. Call 404-328-7177 to make an appointment.

Beverage Hacks for Great Oral Health

  1. Drink Brewed Green Tea: Green tea is great for the health of your teeth and gums. It contains antioxidant catechins that help prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Green tea also possesses metabolism-boosting properties, beyond the stimulant boost its small amount of caffeine delivers. If you regularly drink iced tea, switching to green tea will create less pigment staining on your teeth. If you choose to take advantage of green tea’s health benefits, brew your own mugs or pitchers. Bottled green teas usually contain less green tea and more sugar, which can defeat any health benefits you get from it.
  2. Add Xylitol to Your Routine: Xylitol is the only known sweetener that not only doesn’t harm your teeth, but actually prevents tooth decay. If you add sugar to your tea or coffee, consider replacing it with a sugar substitute that contains a mix of xylitol and stevia leaf. If that doesn’t work for you, look for a chewing gum that contains xylitol and chew it every day after you finish your sweetened drinks.
  3. Don’t Drink Black Coffee: If you take your coffee black, you are exposing yourself to a beverage with a pH of 5 to 5.7, depending on the brew. That is more acidic than your teeth prefer! An acidic environment can make you more vulnerable to acid erosion and decay. Adding milk to your coffee, even almond milk or soy milk, can increase the pH up to a whole digit (from pH 5 to pH 6), and put you back into the safe zone.
  4. Do You Love Flavored Seltzers? Skip the Flavor Occasionally: Fruit flavored seltzer waters are more popular than ever, as they contain no calories and use no artificial sweeteners. They have all the hydrating goodness of water, but with a bit more flavor to pique your taste buds. The only caveat is that most of them add citric acid to preserve the flavor. This common preservative can harm your enamel. If you prefer your water with bubbles, consider drinking sparkling mineral water every now and then, instead. Most varieties are lower in acidity than seltzers with added flavors. Unflavored seltzer has a higher pH, as well, which makes it a great choice.
  5. Be Cognizant of the Effects of Alcohol: Light drinking may have some heart-health benefits, but it’s not great for your teeth and gums. Here’s a quick run-down of all the negatives: (1) alcohol irritates the mouth in any form, and heavy drinking can cause oral cancer, (2) beer and sweet wines/liquers feed mouth bacteria, (3) red and white wine stain the teeth, and (4) most alcoholic beverages are acidic. There are probably more, but that’s enough to think about right now! If you enjoy the occasional drink, we’re not going to tell you to stop—but you can take steps to mitigate the bad effects on your teeth. Drink water after an alcoholic beverage or chew sugarless gum to encourage saliva to rinse the residue off your teeth. Eat cheese before you drink; it can add a waxy layer that protects the teeth from contact with alcohol.

Do you want to learn more hacks to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Visit Grant Park general dentist Dr Abbey Lee at Smiles 4 Grant Park. She and her staff are an excellent source of helpful information. Call us at 404-328-7177 to make an appointment!

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