Memorial Day is approaching and the official summer season is here!
Summertime means to most of us as fun, active and outdoor days in hot weather. We also tend to consume more drinks due to hotter temperature and dehydration from sweating.
Increased number of social events(BBQ, weddings, etc.) to attend is another reason why we tend to consume more of these drinks.
Whether it is for social events or to quench our thirst, there are numerous trendy and traditional drink options, and we wonder what they do to our teeth.
Let’s find out what they do and how we can keep our teeth from any problems these drinks may cause!
Alcoholic drinks, in general, are dehydrating and often high in carbohydrates. Although there are some health benefits in small quantities, some of them may not be so healthy for the teeth.
Although there have been that many studies on beer and teeth, beer is often high in carbohydrates. Dark beers like stouts may cause more stains on the teeth as dark wines.
Otherwise small consumption of beer is known to be healthy – it is shown to lower the chance of kidney stones and also provide a good source of silica.
Hard Ciders have earned more recognition more recently since most of them are not grain based. However, that does not mean they are lighter than beer.
Since they are made from yeast and apple, they are high in carbohydrates and sugar. They are also lower in pH it can certainly promote tooth decay if not removed quickly.
We know that red wine stains teeth. White wines do not stain teeth as much but they tend to be more acidic and higher in sugar and carbohydrates. The more trendy drink, Rosé, may stainless.
However, many of the sweeter, trendier wines have more sugar and acidity, which may cause erosion and tooth decay.
After all, in small quantities, there are numerous health benefits in wine. We just have to remember to rinse with plain water after consuming wine.
Coffee and Tea
During Summertime, many coffee drinkers favor iced coffee. Just as the hot coffee, the staining power of the iced coffee is real. Also just because the milk is added and it is lighter in color, that does not mean the coffee will stain the teeth less.
As a matter of fact, the lactose in the milk (even without sugar added) can initiate the biochemical process of tooth decay. Some cold brewed coffees are stated as less acidic, but it will still stain teeth just as much.
Coffee is overall a very healthy beverage for its polyphenol content but we just have to be mindful of rinsing with water or chewing sugarless gum after to prevent staining.
Iced Tea is very similar to iced coffee in that it may still stain teeth like the hot beverage. Green tea without added milk and sugar would actually be beneficial to the teeth.
Green tea overall is not acidic and has properties that may prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Black tea is more acidic and more staining despite its health benefits.
Trendy Health Beverages
Kombucha drinks have gained significant popularity for its health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented black or green tea. To promote fermentation, the sugar has to be added and the acidity is quite low (2.5-3.5) once fully fermented.
Most flavored Kombucha drinks have even more added sugar and varying degrees of alcohol. All of these characteristics may not be the best to keep teeth healthy.
Again, rinsing your mouth with plain water shortly after consuming kombucha is recommended.
However, as one may expect, the low acidity and added flavoring with sugar or fruit juice make the drinks unhealthy for the teeth.
Sports drinks that claim to give you energy and electrolytes may taste good and perform better, but they also can be a hazard to your teeth.
If you are working out and consuming these beverages, it could be even more hazardous. Many of them have lower pH or carbonated (in effervescent tablets to be dissolved in water) even if some do not have added sugar.
During your workout, your mouth pH is already low and salivary production rate has decreased.
Our recommendation is to just rinse off the sports drinks with plain water. Or perhaps the good old fashioned water would be the best option to quench your thirst.
Sparkly water is also popular for its fresh flavor that people like during summertime. However, the pH is much lower than water and it can cause tooth erosion. You may want to use a straw if you would like to consume these bubbly drinks.
Every day there are numerous types of flavored water on the market. Many have fruit flavors with vitamins etc. They may claim health benefits, but again they may be flavored with sugar and has a lower pH.
Just pure, clean, filtered water is also an option. Water is our number one option in drinks. Water is neutral pH and there is no sugar or carbohydrates that will promote tooth decay and gum disease.
If you would like to enjoy your favorite summer beverages, perhaps you can accompany water and rinse your mouth shortly with water after consuming other beverages.
Just trying not to bathe your teeth in a sugary, acidic drink for an extended period of time can help you in the long run.
If you notice that you have sensitivity and pain after consuming these popular summer drinks, it is a time to see a dentist or prosthodontists like Dr. Stella Oh or Dr. Estafan for consultation.