Are ‘healthy’ drinks damaging your smile?

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Most of us are aware that fizzy drinks can damage our teeth, but did you know that some of the drinks promoted as part of a healthy diet can also put your smile at risk?

In recent years, it has become trendy to detox by drinking hot water with lemon and to try and increase your intake of fruit and vegetables by adding juices to your diet. Juice diets have also become a popular means of losing weight rapidly.

While fruit juices might increase your vitamin intake, and hot water can cleanse your body, dental professionals are keen to point out the oral health risks associated with these trends. Juices are acidic, which means that they can be harmful for the enamel. The same problem is true of adding lemon or lime wedges to water. Once the enamel becomes eroded, there is a risk of cavities forming, and the dentin layer of the tooth can become exposed, causing sensitivity.

Dental hygienist, Tabitha Acret, said that many people are unaware of the potential dangers of drinking juices and water flavoured with citrus fruits. These products, along with smoothies, are often labelled as healthy alternatives to fizzy drinks, but closer inspection of labels may reveal hidden dangers. Shop-bought smoothies and juices are often packed with added sugars, as well as natural sugars, and they have a low pH. Both red and white wine are also acidic. 

The advice from dental experts is to stick to water and sugar-free drinks that aren’t acidic. It’s particularly beneficial to avoid juices, energy drinks, wine, and lemon water between meals and to rinse the mouth with water after drinking.

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