As you’re soaking up the last days of summer and enjoying the best of the season’s food and beverage, don’t forget that everything that passes your lips will impact your teeth. Some summer drinks are A-OK to have anytime and anywhere, while others are better consumed in moderation or not at all as recommended by your dentist. Here’s what you need to know to enjoy summer’s best sips while still maintaining a healthy smile.
Good, old-fashioned water is the undefeated champion when it comes to the best drink to have, both in summer and all year round. Water keeps your mouth moist and washes away food debris without leaving behind any kind of sticky or sugary residue. As a plus, it also keeps your body hydrated in the heat.
Watermelon juice is another fantastic way to stay refreshed without risking the health of your teeth and gums. Simply blend up watermelon chunks with a little water and mint, and you have a low-calorie and low-acidity drink that still packs a lot of flavor.
Beverages to Avoid
Lemonade is a classic summer drink, but it’s not good for your teeth, unfortunately. It is a high-sugar and high-acidity drink that deals a double blow to your oral health. After cooling off with a tall glass of lemonade, the acid levels in your mouth can remain elevated for 20 minutes or more, eroding your tooth enamel and laying the way for cavities which may require root canal or tooth extraction treatment in the future.
Red wine is another no-no for your teeth. The high tannin levels stain the surface of your teeth and the acidity of the wine degrades your enamel, making it even easier for those stains to settle in for the long term.
Iced Coffee Drinks
Delicious as they are, iced coffee drinks are on our “to avoid” list for several reasons. First of all, coffee has a ton of tannins, which stain tooth enamel. Coffee also dehydrates your mouth, making it more difficult for your saliva to do its job of washing away debris and preventing tooth decay. Many people also add sugar to their coffee, which causes cavities and contributes to bad breath. If you simply must have your caffeine fix, drink it through a straw to avoid some of the worst effects on your teeth, and follow it up with a tall glass of water to wash away any lingering residue.
The Bottom Line on Summer Drinks
While you’re trying to beat the heat this summer, be aware of what kind of refreshment you reach for and how it will impact the health of your mouth. Remember, it takes just a few moments to drink a beverage but it can have a much longer-lasting impact on your teeth. Choose wisely and then continue to consult with your dental team for additional information.