Every day, more people quit smoking, join a gym or start eating healthier. And although it’s important to be conscious of the type of food you consume, you shouldn’t overlook the beverages you drink as well. Not only are some loaded with hidden calories, but they do a number on your oral health. What is the worst drink for your teeth, though? There’s isn’t one that tops the list. Here are five beverages to avoid and why.

1. Soda

There used to be a commercial jingle that told you to “have a” certain soda “and a smile.” Unfortunately, showing your teeth is the last thing you’d want to do having had enough of it. The acids and sugar byproducts in soda increase your risk of cavities by softening the teeth’s protective enamel.

2. Coffee

A morning cup of coffee is a daily routine for millions of people. Coffee’s natural brown color can turn your teeth an ugly yellow by revealing the dentin beneath your enamel. Sugar is a popular additive to coffee, too, and can increase one’s risk of cavities in the same way as soda.

3. Tea

Not a fan of coffee? A soothing cup of tea gets you going each morning, and its antioxidants can do wonders for your body’s defense against oral cancer. Choose your flavor wisely, though; black tea and darker blends can stain your teeth in a similar manner as coffee.

4. Alcohol

Whether you prefer a nice glass of wine, cracking open a six-pack or your favorite liquor on the rocks, the strength of most alcoholic drinks can wear down enamel, as well. Its sugar content can also contribute to periodontal disease, whereas red wines – despite their antioxidants – leave particularly heavy stains over time.

5. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks can be harmful to teeth due to their high sugar content and high levels of acidity, according to the International Association for Dental Research. While most consumers believe that they are drinking something healthy when consuming a sports drink, the truth is that these beverages can be more damaging to teeth than soda.

What to Drink?

Plain old tap water may lack taste, but it also has no sugar or artificial sweeteners that lead to tooth decay. Most towns and cities add fluoride to their water supply, not to mention it’s refreshing on a hot day or after a sweat-soaked workout.

Milk, too, does a body good. It’s also low in sugar and high in calcium, protein and phosphorus – all of which are helpful to building bone in your jaw. Another option if you’re craving something sweet to drink is juice. Although actual fruit is ideal, juices that are sourced 100-percent from fruit juice aren’t bad alternatives, either. Simply consume them in moderation.

“What is the worst drink for your teeth?” isn’t the question you need to ask. In fact, no one is suggesting you shouldn’t enjoy certain types of drinks every so often. Remember that moderation is key, alongside exercising good oral care habits that include brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

For more helpful tips from Dr. Ben Johnson at Johnson Family Dental in Paducah, be sure to look at our FACEBOOK PAGE or CLICK HERE to visit the blog section of our website. If you are looking for a Paducah area dentist, we hope you will consider Johnson Family Dental. We are conveniently located at 2913 Lone Oak Rd in Paducah, KY. Give us a call at (270) 554-2432 to schedule and appointment today!