How Drinking Through Straws Helps Prevent Cavities

drinking through straw to prevent cavitiesLittle can compare to the refreshment of a cool drink on a warm day, when cold lemonade and sweet iced tea seem to flow almost as readily as water. Unfortunately, many of your favorite drinks may be working to undermine the health of your teeth with every sip you take. Today, we explain how your favorite beverages could cause tooth decay and cavities, and how a simple invention like the straw could help.

Attacking Your Dental Health

It would be inaccurate to single out any specific beverage as the cause of cavities. The truth is, many drinks, from sodas to fruit juices, contain elements that make them potentially dangerous to your oral health. At any given moment, over 600 different kinds of bacteria live in your mouth, gathered together by a sticky biofilm called plaque. When you drink a beverage that contains sugar and/or other carbs, oral bacteria process these elements and produce organic acids that dissolve tooth enamel and sap your tooth of minerals. If not attended to, your enamel will become too weak to repel bacteria, and the interior of one or more of your teeth can soon become infected.

Protecting Your Dental Health

To help protect your teeth from the dangers of your favorite drinks without having to give them up altogether, we suggest drinking through a straw. Position the straw towards the back of the mouth to limit exposure to your teeth. Take care not to bite the straw or to squeeze it between your teeth. The rigid edges can irritate your gums and cause them to recede, while frequently jamming the straw between teeth can cause them to shift. You should also rinse your mouth with water to neutralize the acid produced by bacteria and the natural acidity of the beverage.

ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:

With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.