October 5, 2019
Before you drive through your favorite coffee shop and order that fan-favorite, Pumpkin Spice Latte, you might want to stop and reconsider your drink choice. Why? While it might taste delicious going down, the remnants left behind can result in serious dental problems. Unless you’re drinking black coffee with no special additives mixed in, sugar’s effect on your teeth can lead to problems for your mouth and body.
How Hot Drinks Affect Your Teeth
When drinking a cup of coffee, do you add cream or sugar? What about hot tea? Do you sprinkle in a pinch of sweetener to hide the bitterness? The moment you pour in these sweet additions to your beverage, you are raising your chances of developing tooth decay. If you’re wondering how that is possible, it is because sugar is your teeth’s worst enemy. Not only can it stay on your teeth for long periods of time, but bacteria loves to feed off of it, producing acid that, if not neutralized, can burrow into your teeth and create cavities.
Another way hot drinks can be harmful to your smile is through staining. When consuming dark-colored beverages, the pigment of the drink can leave stains and discoloration on your teeth. Although it can take some time before you’ll begin to notice a difference in the color of your smile, it’s likely you’ll one day need teeth whitening or another stain-removing treatment to recapture your pearly whites.
How to Drink Happily Without Harming Your Teeth
If staying away from your Chai Tea or Pumpkin Spice Latte is impossible, try adopting some of these oral hygiene tips to ensure your teeth and gums remain in the best shape possible this holiday season:
- When drinking your favorite Fall beverage, use a straw. This will reduce the chances of the liquid coming into direct contact with your teeth.
- Try to avoid putting cream or sugar in your drinks, if possible.
- Remember to brush your teeth every morning and night for two minutes each. If you are able, try to brush them after consuming a sugary beverage or at least rinse your mouth with water.
- Floss in-between your teeth at least once a day.
- Use a mouthwash to rinse after brushing and flossing.
- Attend your six-months appointments with your dentist in Ardmore.
You can still enjoy your favorite Fall beverages, just not every day. If you simply cannot avoid your favorite Fall drink, follow the tips listed above to keep decay and disease away.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Hughes earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree before entering the United States Air Force and practicing dentistry as a Captain. In 1969, he began providing dental care to the residents of Ardmore and its surrounding communities. His office offers comprehensive services that include everything from preventive care to emergency dentistry services. He and his team will gladly provide useful tips to improve your oral health at home and offer advice on ways to push through these sugar-filled holidays coming up. To learn more about us, visit our website or call (580) 223-3838.
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