What’s in Your Glass?

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When is the last time you gave any serious thought to what you drink? That may sound like an odd question, but let’s be honest, people pay plenty of attention to what they eat when it comes to watching their weight or maintaining healthy teeth, but it can be easy to forget about what is in your cup or glass. And to be honest, most of us don’t even give it a second thought. After all, beverages don’t stay on your teeth nearly as long as food, so there shouldn’t be much to worry about when it comes to drinks, right?

Actually, as our dentist, Dr. Alexander Larsen can tell you, what you drink can be just as good or bad for your teeth as what is on your plate. So it might be time to pay attention to you drink as well as your meals.

If you have been exerting yourself, sports drinks can help replace lost carbohydrates and electrolytes. But you should reserve sports drinks for the cool-down after your game or workout. And even then, it is a good idea to mix a little water in with them, since there is evidence that sports drinks can lead to tooth decay. If you are sitting down to a meal, water or milk are your best bets and you should keep the sports drinks on the field. Going heavy on the carbohydrates can also lead to dental problems. Energy drinks have become very popular in recent years, especially among young people. But they are high in stimulants such as caffeine and taurine, which are not good for anyone, particularly kids. Both types of drinks have been found to have levels of acid that can damage tooth enamel. Then there are soft drinks. Most of us at one time or another have indulged in an ice-cold soft drink, especially if they are complimentary at work or in a restaurant. However, most soft drinks are high in sugar and in acid, and every time you take a sip you are helping to damage your teeth. Fruit juices contain vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to your body and your teeth, but they are best consumed in moderation, especially when it comes to citrus juices, which have high acid contents. Enjoying a glass of juice is fine, but be sure to follow it up with a glass of water.

When all is said and done, the best drink for your teeth really is water. Water hydrates your body along with your mouth, and washes away the food debris, acids and bacteria that can lead to problems such as bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease. And, if your city and town fluoridating the water supply, you will be giving your tooth enamel a needed boost in fluoride. If you have questions about maintaining a healthy smile in Orem, Utah, we can help at Gentle Dental Arts. Give us a call today at 801-788-4922 and we’ll schedule you for a cleaning and exam.