In our youth, we tend to consume the foods and beverages that we find to be the most delicious and appealing, without much attention placed on whether these foods and beverages are actually good for us. As we grow, our parents, teachers and others around us try to educate us into understanding that our overall health is largely dependent upon what we consume, and that certain foods and drinks are less healthy than others. However, while we may grow to understand how specific foods and drinks can affect our overall health, we may not understand how they affect our oral health. We may therefore assume that if we adhere to a generally healthful diet, comprised of plenty of protein and vegetables, consuming sodas as often as we want is no real problem. Unfortunately, this is not really true.
Satisfying Drinks That Don’t Harm Your Teeth
The acidic nature of sodas, along with their high sugar content, can cause extensive problems with our teeth and gums. Sugar feeds harmful oral bacteria, while acid eats away at protective tooth enamel. So while an occasional soda followed by rigorous and thorough tooth brushing may be okay, it’s time to take a look at other delicious and tooth-friendly drink options.
It is no real surprise that water is the healthiest beverage you can consume, especially since everyone knows that water is a vital component of our bodies and is absolutely necessary to healthy digestion. Drinking water after meals can help to wash away food and bacteria in the mouth, which in turn can reduce the chance of tooth decay and yield fresher breath. Water also helps to promote healthy saliva production, which is essential to good oral health since saliva actually has germ-fighting properties and further helps to wash away food particles and bacteria.
Cinnamon punch is created by boiling cinnamon sticks for an extended period of time. The beverage is then allowed to cool prior to being served, usually topped with pine nuts. The recipe does call for a small amount of brown sugar, and one can improve on its health benefits by further reducing this amount. The benefit of this beverage lies in the antimicrobial properties of cinnamon, which can help to kill harmful oral bacteria and reduce gum inflammation.
Not only is milk full of calcium and phosphorous, which can work to help keep teeth strong and healthy, it is also a base. This means that it can help to fight oral acidity so that tooth enamel is better protected against erosion. Milk also contains casein, which can help strengthen enamel and protect against tooth decay.
Green tea, along with other herbal teas that are clear, can help to fight harmful oral bacteria without increasing the risk of tooth staining.
Flavored Mineral Water
Flavored mineral water can give present you with a refreshing alternative to plain water, without increasing the risk of oral health issues. Mineral water contains calcium phosphate, which can work to protect and even repair your tooth enamel, along with providing you with many other beneficial minerals. That said, it is important to ensure that you avoid mineral waters with high sugar content.
Homemade Fruit and Veggie Juices
Homemade fruit and veggie juices can be refreshing, healthful and delicious when prepared properly. Some fruits and veggies to consider for juicing include: celery, apples, strawberries, spinach, carrots, guava, pineapple, kale and pears. You can even add a bit of natural, unsweetened yogurt and benefit from the calcium phosphate and probiotics it contains.
If you have consumed sodas on a regular basis, especially over an extended period of time, it can seem difficult to part with this habit. However, if you try some other, healthier beverage options you will soon discover that there are plenty of delicious choices that not only help to protect and even improve your oral health, but are also far more satisfying than sodas.
For more tips about which habits can help to improve your oral health, contact Dr. Best today.