Are you a straw sipper? While you may think of using a straw as a matter of preference, it can actually be a powerful method of protection for your teeth. Unless you strictly drink water, there are countless types of beverages that can ruin your smile. Whether it is staining agents, sugars or acids, every time you drink, you are bathing your teeth and gums in these harmful substances. A straw is a cheap and easy tool to protect your smile from the following:
Stains: If coffee, tea or red wine is on your list of favorites, you should be aware of their tooth staining consequences. While it may be difficult to get used to drinking your morning coffee through a straw, it can greatly reduce the direct contact that this dark-colored beverage has on your pearly whites. If adding a straw to your beverage delicacy is not realistic for you, at least take the time to rinse with water or brush your teeth after you empty your glass or mug.
Enamel Erosion: Many of the drinks that children and adults consume are either high in sugar or highly acidic, or both. Examples are sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks and even fruits juices. By not using a straw, you are essentially immersing your teeth in a sugar and acid bath. This can slowly damage the outer layer of your teeth, or the enamel. Once the enamel is gone, it can’t grow back. Patients are then vulnerable to decay and may experience sensitivity and discoloration as a result. While avoiding sodas and sports drinks is best, if you must drink them, use a straw to protect your smile.
Bacteria Exposure/Germs: For the sake of your dental health and overall health, make a habit of grabbing a straw in restaurant settings or public places. By placing your lips on the rim of a glass, you are likely to encounter and consume hidden bacteria. Even if the glass was washed and sanitized, the extra handling from waitresses and other staff can allow unwanted germs to transfer directly to your mouth.
Are you ready to become a straw sipper? For the sake of your smile, consider this easy habit as you sip throughout the day. At SmileBuilders, Inc., we love educating patients on the simple tasks that can greatly benefit their dental health. Is your drink wreaking havoc on your smile?