It has been estimated that more than 60% of adults in the United States drink with a straw. That's right, two-thirds of us sip iced tea, iced coffee, and even water through one long tube! The reason for this is simple: it helps to prevent tooth decay. But does it work? Well, read on to find out!
Why Drinking With a Straw Does Not Protect Your Teeth
Drinking through a straw is not the magical solution that many people think it is. Even though using a straw can help protect your teeth from stains, it doesn't keep them free of cavities or other dental problems. Most drinks we use straws with are not healthy for us anyway. Many people drink sodas, fruit juices, and sports drinks with straws because they think it will save their teeth from getting stained or damaged. This is just an illusion of safety that could be harmful to your health in the long run.
Sugar Is More Harmful To Your Teeth Than The Acid In Soda And Fruit Juice
Although most people are fearful of the acidity in soda and fruit juice, sugar is more harmful to your teeth. According to the National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), sugars break down into acids that attack tooth enamel when exposed to heat or moisture for a long time.
How to Protect Your Teeth From Harmful Drinks
To protect your teeth from harmful drinks, you should decrease or limit the number of acidic beverages in your diet. Acidic beverages include soda, fruit juice, sports drinks, among many others.
Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day instead of sugary sodas or sports drinks. Water keeps saliva flowing, which helps neutralize acidity levels in the mouth while washing away food particles before they have a chance to stick onto tooth enamel. Drinking water with meals can also help reduce plaque buildup on dental surfaces due to certain types of starchy foods like bread and cereals that are found at many dinners.
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