September 3, 2019
If you’re saying hello to the Fall season with the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’re probably not the only one. This common caffeinated concoction has taken the world by storm, and while it may taste delicious and “warm the soul,” it might also be wreaking havoc on your teeth. Find out if it’s time to trade in your favorite Fall hot drinks for better, more teeth-friendly options.
Ways Hot Drinks Can Harm Your Teeth
Whether it is a Pumpkin Spice Latte, Hot Chocolate or Apple Cider that you prefer to help you get into the Fall spirit, these tasty drinks can be problematic for your oral health. To answer the question, “Are hot drinks bad for my teeth,” the answer is most certainly, yes, and here’s how:
Dark-colored beverages like coffee and tea can leave a trail of stains and discoloration. While you might not notice it for quite some time, you’ll begin to notice your teeth turning from a pearly white to a yellowish or gray tinge over the years. Once these stains are set in, no amount of brushing will lift them. This is why many people opt for teeth whitening.
Drinks that have high amounts of acidity or sugar can result in tooth decay developing on your teeth. While coffee can stain your teeth, it actually can protect your teeth from gum disease; however, the moment you fill up that black coffee cup with cream and sugar, all bets are off. You’ve now introduced a breeding ground for bacteria to build and burrow into the crevices of your teeth. The same can be said for hot chocolate or ciders.
Ways to Keep Your Oral Health on Track
Whether you trade in the hot brew for a cold brew or you simply cannot resist your hot beverage of choice, there are steps you should take to keep your oral health in check, such as:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two full minutes. Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste to protect from tooth decay and strengthen tooth enamel, and use a soft-bristled brush in a circular motion.
- Floss at least once a day, or better yet, after every meal
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash at least twice a day
- Keep your regular dental appointments every six months
- Drink your coffee or tea with a straw to decrease the contact between your teeth and the liquid (This is only if you can’t resist your favorite Fall drink)
- Try to limit or avoid as much sugar and acidic drinks as possible to lessen the chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease
- Drink plenty of water after consuming any stain-causing beverages
Between the pumpkins, leaves, and football, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy the Fall season. Just remember to follow the above-mentioned tips to take care of your teeth and gums. If your favorite drink is calling you, be prepared to keep a glass of water nearby and your toothbrush and toothpaste ready to go. You’ll be glad you did when that stain-free smile appears in all your upcoming holiday photos.
About the Author
Dr. Alex Martin studied at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. Continually educating himself on up-to-date dental procedures, Dr. Martin and his team strive to help patients look and feel their absolute best. From innovative and effective treatment plans to offering patient education to ensure proper oral hygiene and lifestyle habits are occurring at home, you can feel confident about placing your dental needs in Dr. Martin’s hands. To learn more, contact us at (480) 860-1993 or visit our website.
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