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What kinds of drinks are bad for my teeth?

Updated: Mar 18

We all know it's important to stay hydrated. With so many "grab and go" drinks options out there, it can become confusing to know just which ones are best. Certain branding efforts might make these drinks look more beneficial than they actually are and the effects on your teeth may surprise you.

Is VITAMIN WATER good for me?

While the name sure sounds appealing, often the vitamins in these drinks are ones you don't need or ones you may start ingesting in excess if you drink vitamin water regularly. Registered dietitian Julia Stanislavskaia says “certain vitamins are readily available in an average diet, and there is no need to supplement those in an average person” and “it’s possible to overdose and get excess amounts of certain vitamins if you drink this water as well.” Along with these unnecessary vitamins, you’re also getting a mouthful of artificial flavours, colors, caffeine in some cases, and lots of sugar. The average bottle of vitamin water (591 ml/20 oz) can contain eight teaspoons of sugar! That's two teaspoons more than the daily intake of free sugars recommended by the World Health Organization.

Is FLAVORED WATER good for me?

Flavored waters sweetened with artificial flavors often use some form of sugar which can be cavity-causing. While some of these drinks are infused with natural flavors as opposed to artificial, thereby saving from added sugar, these natural flavors often include citric acid which wears away tooth enamel. Similarly, these drinks are carbonated through the use of carbon dioxide, meaning there is acid in each bottle that can wear away your tooth enamel.

Are SPORTS DRINKS good for me?

Much like with fruit juice, the decaying combination of high acidity and sugar in sports drinks can really do a number on your teeth. With time, regularly consuming sports drinks can soften tooth enamel and lead to erosion over time. In addition, sports drinks often contain caffeine, artificial colors, and flavours. It's also important to keep in mind that sports drinks are designed to replace carbohydrate and electrolyte loss during intense physical activity. These drinks were not designed to be consumed regularly considering the additional ingredients present. It’s best to replenish electrolytes lost during an intense workout or an active lifestyle by drinking water and maintaining a healthy diet or drinking sports drinks in moderation.

So...What's the best drink for my teeth?

You guessed it: water. We’re lucky enough to have easy access to clean, safe drinking water, so why not enjoy more of it? Water is free from sweeteners, caffeine, calories, and artificial flavors and colors. And, it’s just a tap away! If that's too boring for you, consider adding cucumber, mint, strawberries, or ginger. With limited sugar and acid, these will offer a little kick to keep you interested!

Dr. Stephanie Stephan DDS, Dentist in Auburn Hills and Pontiac, Michigan 1590 Baldwin Avenue, Auburn Hills, Michigan 48340

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