When it comes to maintaining good oral health, every little bit counts. This includes making sure you brush your teeth twice a day, floss everyday, and see your dentist in Reston at least every six months. But there are other small changes you can make in your daily life to protect teeth even more such as eating a well-balanced diet, not smoking, and drinking through a straw whenever possible. Yes, really! Something as little as drinking through a straw can help teeth stay healthy.
Just like there are some foods that are bad for teeth, there are also several bad beverages out there. The ones we’ll reference today either are super sugary, are acidic, or worse — are both! Some of these bad beverages include:
How Does a Straw Protect Teeth?
We know this may seem like a myth, but it’s true. Drinking with a straw instead of sipping directly out of a cup can protect teeth. But how, exactly? When we drink through a straw, less of the liquid comes in contact with teeth, and less contact means less sugar or acid is left hanging around. However, if more of the liquid comes in contact with the teeth, it, along with the sugars and acids, can coat teeth in a layer or dangerous film and cause problems.
Along with sugar and acid, many of the drinks above also contain staining agents. If too much of these ingredients come in contact with teeth they can cause teeth to discolor and appear dark. Using a straw can reduce this risk, and your dentist in Reston can always talk to you about how to remove tooth staining through smile whitening treatment.
Acids are notorious for causing damage to the protective layer of tooth enamel. Without the protection of enamel , it’s common to experience increased tooth sensitivity and other problems.
Of course, we can’t talk about sugary stuff without talking about cavities. Sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth and can greatly increase the risk of cavities and decay. If your drink of choice is also acidic, it can pack a double whammy by removing enamel and making it even easier for bacteria to wreak havoc.
When In Doubt, Drink Water
Your dentist in Reston always recommends water as the best choice for a healthy mouth and a healthy body. Aim to drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This will keep your mouth hydrated and allow dangerous acids and bacteria to wash away before they have a chance to damage your pearly whites.
We’re all about encouraging our neighbors to use straws more often, however, we can’t forget about the environmental impacts of disposable, one-time-use straws. Whenever possible, use a reusable straw. There are many options available, in many colors, and made out of many materials. You can even find some that are easy to take with you on the road!
iSmile Dental Care has five dental offices in Northern Virginia, including Manassas, Reston, Fairfax, Herndon, and Gainesville.