Hello summer – hello iced drinks! A season of many barbeques, picnics, happy hours, and more… what beverages are teeth-friendly?
Probably the most addictive (but tastiest) everyday stimulant – coffee. Did you know the average American drinks 3.2 cups of coffee EVERY DAY? The acidity alone in coffee wears away the enamel in teeth, making it easier for cavities to set in, plus it is a big contributor to staining of our teeth. Pro tip – drink a glass of water after every cup of coffee to rinse your mouth and teeth, but wait 30 mins or longer before brushing. Enamel that has been exposed to acid is more vulnerable to damage, so waiting for your saliva to naturally remineralize it is best to avoid brushing away vulnerable enamel.
Similar to coffee, the darker the brew the more likely you are to stain your precious pearly whites. Opt for a green tea or a lighter, fruity blend if you can’t bear to give up your caffeine. Pro tip, use a reusable straw to navigate the liquid away from your teeth. My favorite straws are here. I keep some in my purse, my gym bag, and my car, so I always have a more environmentally mindful straw available.
A summer staple, lemonade is a refreshing treat in moderation. However, most premade lemonade mixes are packed with sugar. If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, maple syrup, agave, or honey can be used to sweeten some fresh squeezed lemon juice. Take note though, lemons are a very acidic fruit in the oral cavity and can damage enamel. Try to dilute your lemonade with more water and less lemon if you can.
The general rule of thumb is, if it can stain your clothes, it probably can stain your teeth. Don’t ditch the red sangria just yet though – white wine generally is more acidic than red! Be wary of sparkling wines – the combination of acidity plus the carbonation can lower pH and damage enamel. Moderation is key!!
Even though this may be a “duh” answer, it’s important to stay hydrated over the hot summer months. Kids won’t always tell you when they’re thirsty, so look for signs of dehydration such as drowsiness/low energy, no tears when crying, or infrequent bathroom breaks. My pro tip – slice up some cucumber or toss in some fresh berries to add a little flavor. Remember, at NoPo Kids, we really emphasize water intake and feel staying properly hydrated it is one of the most valuable things we can all do on a daily basis for our bodies and our teeth!
Have a safe, fun, and healthy summer! And remember, we all should #eatarainbow daily to stay happy and well.
Love and health,