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Drinks Vs Teeth


Coffee – coffee is a notorious teeth stainer.  Although coffee has many health benefits, unfortunately it’s not the best choice for our teeth, especially if you add sugar to it.  Coffee causes the bacteria in your mouth to create acids that lead to tooth enamel erosion.


Lemon water – although tap water is one of the best drinks for our teeth, adding lemon to it undoes the health benefits.  Lemon juice is highly acidic which quickly wears down the enamel of your teeth.  If you want to flavour your water, try flavouring it with less acidic additives such as fresh mint instead. Or use a straw.


Fruit juice – the sticky sugars in fruit juice are loved by tooth bacteria, making fruit juice one of the worst choices for teeth.  If you do choose to have a glass of juice, rinse your mouth out with a glass of tap water afterwards.


Milk – milk is one of the best choices for healthy teeth as reduces the acidity of your mouth and helps to reduce plaque build up.   It’s also a rich source of calcium which helps to strengthen your teeth and jawbone.  Choose from either skim, low fat or full cream, but avoid additives such as coffee or cocoa powders.


Wine – the jury is still out on whether wine is a good or bad choice for teeth.  Some studies have found that proanthocyanins found in red wine may help to decrease tooth decay forming bacteria.  But, on the other hand, wine is quite acidic which can erode tooth enamel. 


Diet cola – Obviously sugar-containing softdrinks are terrible for our teeth, but what about diet soft drinks?  Unfortunately they are just as bad.  Even though the sugar is removed, diet softdrinks are very acidic which causes erosion of our tooth enamel.  If you do choose to have a glass of soft drink, rinse your mouth out with tap water afterwards.


Words by Melanie McGrice, image under license of