If you are an adult orthodontic patient, you will of course have the same dietary restrictions as our younger patients. We know that foods like sweets and sticky treats can damage our teeth, but did you know that some of our favorite beverages can also cause some serious oral damage? Adults tend to consume some additional beverages that can actually stain your teeth or damage your braces.
If you have traditional metal braces, you’ll want to be extra cautious about drinks that can stain your teeth, as the discoloration will be more obvious and varied when your braces are removed. If you have Invisalign clear aligners, you’ll also want to be careful with foods and beverages that can stain your teeth, as they can also discolor your aligners. Though you must remove them when eating or drinking anything besides still water, these beverages can leave behind residue on your teeth. Read on to learn more about the effects of your favorite beverages and how to minimize tooth damage!
Unfortunately, that morning cup of joe is not very smile-friendly! Not only does coffee cause halitosis (bad breath), the acidic beverage can actually damage and stain your teeth. Drinking coffee every day can cause teeth to become more yellow, and the effects are very difficult to reverse,
If you can’t go without your coffee, there are some choices you can make to prevent some of these adverse effects. While iced coffee contains the same level of acidity, drinking it through a straw can help minimize the damage to your teeth because they will come in less contact with the beverage. If you’re going out for coffee, try to choose a drink with minimal sugar, as super sweet drinks come with a whole new set of adverse effects for your teeth.
Just like coffee, tea can also stain your teeth. However, different teas have different benefits and effects! Black tea is the worst kind of tea for your teeth, as the dark color and high acidity cause about the same amount of damage as coffee. White tea is a little better, as it is lighter in color and will not stain your teeth to quite the same extent as black coffee.
The good news is that green tea may actually be GOOD for your teeth! Studies have shown that consuming green tea can actually reduce oral bacteria and lower the risk of cavities and gum disease. Green tea also contains a lot of caffeine, so it may work as a replacement for your morning coffee! Additionally, green tea offers health benefits like antioxidants, and it has also been linked with healthy weight loss!
It can be nice to enjoy a glass of wine with a good meal or with friends but sip with caution. Both red and white wine can stain your teeth! Many people believe that this is only true for red wine because it is darker in color and often leaves a temporary stain on your front teeth. However, white wine can also leave long-term stains.
Most wine is actually less acidic than coffee, so consumers only need to worry about the damage from acidity if they are frequently consuming large amounts of wine. Bigger concern wine drinkers should consider is the amount of sugar in their favorite wine.
Unfortunately, beer is not great for your teeth either. Beer, especially dark varieties, can stain your teeth just like wine. The carbonation in beer can also cause additional damage, just like soda. Carbonated drinks are very corrosive to tooth enamel, and can leave your teeth more susceptible to damage and cavities.
When it comes to enjoying these beverages, the key is moderation. An occasional glass of wine or cup of coffee is perfectly acceptable, especially if you perform your full, thorough oral hygiene routine at least twice a day. If you are going to be consuming more than one of these drinks, consider using a straw or also sipping on a glass of water to minimize the damage to your teeth.