Dental News

4 Ways Drinking Through a Straw Can Help Your Smile

April 3, 2016

Learn how using a straw can help protect your teeth from damage

4 Ways Drinking Through a Straw Can Help Your SmileYou may already know that sugary, acidic, and dark-colored drinks can be damaging to your teeth. But what if you just can’t give up your daily coffee, red wine, soda, or sports drinks? Do you have no choice but to accept the risks for your teeth?

Of course not.

There are many ways to you can minimize the risk of damage to your teeth from sugary, acidic, or staining drinks. Using a straw is one example.

Drinking through a straw can help reduce the risk of:

Cavities: When you drink a soda, a sports drink, or any other sugary beverage, you’re providing a feast for the cavity-causing plaque bacteria that dwell on teeth. If you sip through a straw rather than gulping from a cup, the liquid will be less likely to get into all the spaces between your teeth and contribute to cavities.

Enamel Loss: Acidic beverages such as orange juice, lemonade, or soda can eat away at the enamel on the surface of teeth. This can cause sensitivity as well as affect the appearance of your teeth. When you drink from a cup, you tend to swish the liquid around so that most of the tooth surfaces get bathed in acidic liquid. But if you use a straw, fewer teeth will be affected.

Stains: Drinking coffee or red wine through a straw may feel a bit odd at first, but it can really reduce the risk of staining from these liquids. After all, you won’t be getting the drink on your front teeth, which are of course the teeth you are most concerned with keeping white and bright.

Tooth Pain: If you have sensitive teeth, drinking anything—even a glass of water—can potentially be painful. But if you use a straw, you can reduce contact between your sensitive teeth and hot or cold liquids, making drinking more comfortable.

Proper Sipping Technique

If you want drinking from a straw to help your smile, you need to use the straw correctly. Place it as far back in your mouth as is comfortable and then sip your drink straight down. Avoid swishing the drink around or holding it in your mouth as this would defeat the purpose of the straw.

Don’t Forget Your Oral Hygiene

Of course, even with a straw you still need to take proper care of your teeth to limit the possibility of cavities, enamel loss, and staining. Rinsing your mouth out with water or brushing your teeth soon after enjoying a sugary, acidic, or stain-causing beverage will help, and don’t forget to schedule your routine dental cleanings and exams at California Dental Group.

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