Ask the Dentist – Which drinks are most harmful to my teeth?

Ask the Dentist – Which drinks are most harmful to my teeth?

by Dr Shruthi Dayal

The beverages we consume have a significant impact on our dental health. The worst drinks for your teeth are those that are highly acidic or sugary. Sugary and acidic beverages such as soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit juice, and alcohol can damage our teeth, leading to tooth decay, erosion of enamel, and sensitivity. Acidic drinks can erode and weaken tooth enamel, while sugary drinks can promote the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities.

The dental impact of a drink relates to the ingredients as well as the amount of time we expose our teeth to them. For example, drinking a soda with a meal is less damaging to our teeth than sipping on a soda throughout the day. If you sip an acidic or sugary beverage slowly over an extended period, the acid stays in contact with your teeth for a longer period, increasing the risk of dental damage. To minimize the harmful effects, it is recommended to drink it quickly rather than sipping it over a prolonged period. You can also drink it through a straw, which helps to reduce direct contact with your teeth. Swishing with water after will also help remove sugar and neutralize the pH in the mouth.

It is essential to be mindful of the drinks we consume and their effects on our dental health. Below are 2 links to charts depicting the sugar and acid content in popular drinks. Limiting the consumption of these drinks and maintaining good oral hygiene practices can help to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Sugar Levels in Popular Drinks

Acidity (pH) of Common Drinks