While a toothbrush is by far the most powerful weapon you can use to maintain good dental health, there is another handy tool that will make a big difference too. A simple straw can protect your smile in many ways. Drinking colas, sports drinks, iced coffee and fruit juices may not be on the top of your dentist’s list of suggested drinks, but you can avoid a lot of risks by opting to sip through a straw. A straw can significantly minimize the exposure of such drinks on your teeth. Here are some dental problems that are commonly triggered by the exposure of certain beverages on your teeth.
Staining – It may not be your favorite way to enjoy red wine or coffee, but by using a straw to sip on these indulgent drinks, you can keep your smile brighter. Professional teeth whitening treatments last much longer when you avoid dark colored beverages that stain your teeth.
Tooth Decay – Your kids may be able to take the most benefit from this one. When drinking fruit juices and sports drinks that include high amounts of sugar, your child is at risk for cavities. Encourage your child to use a straw so that the liquid sugar is not coating and lingering on those pearly whites all day. Rinsing with water or chewing sugar-free gum afterwards is a good idea too.
Erosion and Sensitivity – Are you a soda swisher? If so, you are inviting acid erosion on the enamel of your teeth every time you do it. Tooth enamel erosion eventually leads to sensitive teeth. To protect your teeth, use a straw to drink sodas and energy drinks that contain acid.
Water is always your best drink of choice as far as your dental health is concerned. However, if you do like to treat yourself to other beverages, the simple act of using a straw goes a long way to protect your smile. Be sure to position your straw correctly to get the full benefit. Place the straw towards the back of your mouth or tongue so that exposure is truly minimized on those front teeth.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV,