Obviously staying away from alcoholic drinks in general is the best way to prevent damage to your teeth, but moderation is the key to being healthy, and informing our readers is what we do. Here is our list of the best and worst drinks for your teeth.
Best drinks for your teeth
Take this with a grain of salt. There is no such thing as a healthy alcoholic drink, and none of these beverages are necessarily “good” for your dental health. However, if you’re looking to curb some of the damage your smile may incur from a night out on the town, these drinks are your best choices:
Beer lovers are in luck. The high water content and low acidity levels in light, low-carb beer make these brews a relatively safer option when it comes to dental health, especially compared to darker beers. Help your teeth even more by selecting beers that are also light in color to prevent potential surface stains on your teeth’s enamel.
Gin and tonic
Sipping on a gin and tonic delivers more than just the air of sophistication. It provides a safer alternative to most cocktails when you consider the status of your smile. First, both gin and tonic are clear liquids, which takes away the risk of staining your teeth. Second, Gin and Tonic has relatively low acidity levels. Acid eats away at enamel; the tooth’s protective surface, until the substance creates a hole known as a cavity. Foods with low acidity levels and sugar do not cause as much damage.
That being said, this drink doesn’t entirely land in the safe zone – the carbonation in the tonic can also contribute to dental damage. Make it a little better for your smile by loading up on the ice, which will water the drink down.
Worst drinks for your teeth
Between high acidity levels, copious amounts of sugar and dark colors, certain alcoholic drinks can really shake and stir your dental health. Here are the worst to watch out for next time you hit the bar scene:
Whiskey and coke
Coca-Cola, with its harsh mix of carbonation and sugar, has a pH level of 2.5, which is about as low as it goes for beverages. Whiskey is no stranger to acid either. Both of these ingredients also have dark colors, too, which can worsen the risk for surface-level stains.
While cranberry juice might be equipped to mask the pungent taste of vodka, you’ll have to decide whether the benefits outweigh the oral care costs. Don’t be fooled by the “fruit” label. Not only does cranberry juice have a deep, stain-causing purple color, but it also has more sugar than a can of soda. Diet cranberry juice, on the other hand, has significantly less sugar and carbohydrates. However, you’ll have a difficult time finding a bar that serves this diet option.
Think again before taking a sip of this so-called cure for hangovers. Bloody Marys epitomize acidity with both the liquid contents and garnishes. Consider what gets mixed in with this drink: vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce, among other spicy and acidic ingredients. Top the glass off with garnishes like pickles and pepperoni, and you’re sipping on a dental death trap.
To be sure, Bloody Marys do have one saving grace: celery sticks. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but these crunchy veggies are abrasive and scrub your teeth with each bite. Basically, when you munch on celery, you’re also somewhat whitening your teeth.
While alcohol carries serious risks for your oral health, there are steps you can take to curb the damage. Stay away from dark, sugar-heavy drinks and sip on water throughout the night. Additionally, visit your local Tooth Corner to better prevent decay.