We all know that donuts, candy, and other sugary snacks are bad for our teeth. But are we paying attention to the sugar we consume via the beverages we drink every day?
Coffee, soft drinks, sports drinks, juice, lemonade… these drinks all are PACKED with sugar and acid. We often consume soda after soda without thinking about what it’s doing to our oral health. Some of us cannot function without a couple cups of coffee a day (loaded up with cream and lots of sugar, of course!). We think simply brushing and flossing like we’re supposed to is enough to ward off decay—and it certainly helps—but we need to do more.
Good news—there’s an easy solution. Switch to water.
Water? Well, of course! It is the ultimate life-giving liquid! Sure, you can stay hydrated with juices and soft drinks, but why not ditch the acids, sugars, and chemicals of highly processed beverages, and simply drink water in its purest form?
Maybe grabbing a coffee on your way to work is a habit of yours. Maybe you order soft drinks when you go out to dinner. Maybe your tap water has a funny flavor. Whatever your circumstance may be, here are some tips on how to add more water to your diet.
Build New Habits
Every morning, you stop by the nearest Starbucks to grab a venti mocha. You go about your work day, maybe taking a sip or two from the water fountain when you use the restroom during your breaks. You probably have a can of soda with lunch. If you go out for dinner after work, you almost certainly order a soft drink or maybe even a syrupy cocktail—it’s a night out, after all—before you finish with dessert. Does any of this sound unusual for a typical working adult?
Maybe you try to make healthier choices than what was described above. Great! But for most of us, preserving our oral health means having to build new habits. For example, drinking a glass of water when you wake up in the morning might help fend off the coffee cravings. If you still need the caffeine, try unsweetened green tea. Green tea allows you to ditch the sugar while keeping some of the caffeine, but doesn’t stain your teeth as badly as black tea.
Another new habit you can build is always ordering water with dinner. You may crave the sugar with your meal, but if you can deny the urge until desert, it will soon become second nature to order water. Water with dinner is better for your digestion and for feeling full, as well as for your oral health! Bonus benefit: Water is free—no more $3 drink charges.
You can also do things like carry a water bottle in your purse, or leave a glass of water on your bedside table for easy access. Whatever habits you can build to get more water into your diet (and less sugary, acidic drinks!) will help you ward of tooth decay, enamel erosion, and gum disease.
Tackle The Taste
Maybe you simply don’t like the taste of your tap water at home. If that is the case, you should consider investing in a filtering system. Some systems are very affordable, and all of them can help to improve the overall quality and taste of your water. If that doesn’t work, consider purchasing bottled water. Your oral health is worth the small investment.
If you don’t mind the taste of your water, but still want the range of flavors offered by sugary drinks, try adding sliced fruit or fresh herbs. Utilizing combinations like strawberry and kiwi or cucumber and mint is a great way to liven up the flavor profile of your water. You can even use frozen fruit—and as an added bonus, it doubles as ice! The sky’s the limit when it comes to finding healthy, natural flavors to add to your water.
We hope you are drinking plenty of water and that your oral health is spectacular, but if it isn’t, we’re here to help. If you are experiencing signs of damage to your teeth or symptoms of gum disease, give us a call right away. Visit our office in Carrollton, TX, and we can fix your problems before they become larger dental issues, and help you onto the right path to a happier, healthier mouth.