10 May

How Your Favorite Drinks Damage Your Teeth

coffee1We are lucky enough to live in a country where choice is not only allowed, but encouraged. However, the downside to such a wealth of choices is that we often make choices that harm our health. No one will stop you from eating fast food for dinner every night, but eventually your heart will teach you a lesson. The same goes for drinks that might taste delicious but actually do significant damage to your teeth.

The Damage of Drinking Coffee: Cosmetic Problems

Coffee is like an elixir to some, making even the worst days bearable on three hours sleep. But coffee is a dense, dark drink, which means it can stain your white shirt. And if it can stain your shirt, it can stain your teeth. It’s actually the tannins in coffee, which break down water and are also found in wine and tea, that cause color to stick to your teeth.

It doesn’t take much coffee to begin the staining process, and your two-cup-a-day habit is guaranteed to yellow your pearly whites before long. To minimize the damage, try pairing your coffee with fruit, since the fiber in fruit can clean teeth and prevent the tannins from sticking as well. You can also drink coffee with a straw (carefully!) so that it doesn’t touch as many of your teeth, and of course you can brush soon after your morning caffeine jolt to wipe away all plaque.

The Damage of Drinking Soda: Decay Problems

Soda provides no nutritional value and is actually quite dangerous given its sugar level, but at least 50 percent of the population drinks at least one cup of soda a day, and many drink far more. In addition to causing obesity and diabetes, soda also wreaks havoc on your teeth. The sugar in soda mingles with the bacteria in your mouth to form acid, and this acid attacks your teeth. The results are often enamel erosion and nasty cavities, both of which weaken the foundation of your teeth and potentially lead to worse problems down the road.

If you can’t kick your soda habit, at least follow each swig of soda with water to neutralize any acid lingering in your mouth. Never go to bed without brushing your teeth either, or else the soda’s acids have all night to do their damage in your mouth.


Dr. Obrochta