Sometimes, even healthy beverages can be problematic for your teeth. Drinks that you were taught to consume regularly as a child could still incite tooth decay. Here are a few healthy beverages that may cause problems with your teeth if proper precautions are not observed:
Fruit juice, especially when fresh, can supply your body with a large number of vitamins and minerals. However, without fiber to contain the juice until it reaches the stomach for digestion, your mouth is flooded with a large amount of simple sugars. Many fruit juices, such as apple juice, include a large amount of fructose, which is a type of simple sugar.
Simple carbohydrates, such as fructose, are readily consumed by oral bacteria. As they feed on the fructose, they release bacterial acid as a byproduct. This acid causes tooth decay by dissolving your tooth enamel so that cavities can form.
In addition to simple sugars, fruit juice contains other detrimental substances, such as acid. Some fruits, such as citrus fruits, are highly acidic. The acid from these fruits dissolves tooth enamel just as bacterial acid does.
If you would like to receive the vitamins and minerals associated with a fruit, it is typically healthiest to consume the fruit itself instead of its juice. Hard fruits, such as apples, help exercise the jaw muscles as you chew. In addition, their fibrous texture can help clear plaque from the teeth.
If you choose to continue to drink fruit juices regularly, be sure to rinse your mouth with tap water immediately following your drink. The water is likely to contain fluoride, which can help draw dissolved minerals back to the enamel's surface to form a tooth compound that is more resistant to acid. In addition, the water can help rinse away plaque and oral bacteria.
Milk supplies your teeth and bones with calcium and phosphorus that are needed for them to remain healthy. However, milk contains a natural sugar called lactose, which can be used as food for oral bacteria.
If the milk is allowed to rest on the teeth for prolonged periods without the teeth being cleaned, tooth decay can result. This is the case for baby bottle decay in which milk may be left to pool in a child's mouth as he or she rests.
After drinking milk, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth to help remove residual lactose from your oral cavity.
To learn more about your oral health and how the foods and drinks that you consume affect it, schedule a consultation with a dentist like those at Market Street Dental PC.