Stop before you pop: How to rethink your drink
For many people, there is nothing like an ice cold soda to "quench" their thirst on a hot day or a hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold evening. When it comes to taking care of our teeth and the rest of our bodies, sometimes we tend to focus on the foods we eat and forget that what we drink is just as important.Posted — Updated
For many people, there is nothing like an ice cold soda to “quench” their thirst on a hot day or a hot chocolate to warm you up on a cold evening. When it comes to taking care of our teeth and the rest of our bodies, sometimes we tend to focus on the foods we eat and forget that what we drink is just as important.
You’ve likely heard that water is the best choice for a body healthy. Drinking water helps your teeth for specific reasons. When it comes from a safe source, drinking tap water helps protect your teeth from cavities with a mineral called fluoride. Fluoride can also be found in most toothpaste. Drinking plain water also helps to wash away leftover foods and cavity-causing bacteria left on teeth, leaving your mouth a little cleaner after you eat.
Read the fine print on “healthy” drinks
Cutting out sweet tea or your favorite soda all together can be a challenge, and making a lasting change does not happen overnight. Start with small changes to the drinks you already enjoy. You can add flavor to your drinks without adding all the sugar. Flavoring water with fruits or adding a splash of 100% juice to sparkling water keeps some of the bubbles and flavor you may look for from sodas and juices. Also, try slowly reducing the amount of sugar and flavored creams you add to coffees and teas until you can eliminate them completely. These changes can help make the transition to drinking fewer sugar-sweetened beverages a little easier, while still enjoying what you like.
Remembering these tips as you continue making healthy choices about what to drink does not excuse you from keeping up with your oral-hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least two times a day for two minutes. Floss at least once a day, and if you are able, visit the dentist for check-ups twice a year. Making healthy choices about what you drink can have lasting benefits not just for your teeth, but for your entire body.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.