Molly-Mae Hague shows off her natural teeth
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You are what you eat (and drink) and the same thing applies to your teeth. Everything drink consume goes through your mouth and touches your teeth first, so it would be ridiculous to assume that the liquid side of your diet doesn’t matter. Looking for a healthier, brighter smile? Express.co.uk chatted to Cosmetic Dentist at Harley Street Dental Studio, Dr Aneka Khaira, General to find out which drinks to ditch on the mission to perfect teeth.
Drinking too much alcohol isn’t only bad for your organs and general health, it is specifically bad for your oral health.
Whether you opt for a heavily coloured tipple or not, you’re damaging your teeth and gums and your teeth will appear yellow as a result.
Alcohol has been linked to an array of oral health problems including oral cancer, tooth decay, gum disease and tooth erosion, and drinking too much alcohol also increases the chances of accidental trauma or facial injury because of the higher risk of falling or being involved in an accident when people are intoxicated, Dr Khaira said.
The cosmetic dentist added: “High alcohol consumption is known to significantly increase the risk of liver disease and this has a ‘knock-on’ effect for dental treatment.
“Some commonly prescribed drugs and antibiotics can only be used at lower doses by those who have liver disease reducing the efficacy.”
If you’re drinking spirits, try to add low sugar mixers to the alcohol instead.
When you’ve had too much to drink and you do so on a regular basis, your dental hygiene routine starts to slip.
Dr Khaira says this could be another explanation for why your teeth become more yellow when you drink often.
She said: “This can be due to high sugar content within alcoholic drinks or when mixed as well neglecting one’s oral hygiene regime when intoxicated.”
Dark coloured drinks
Dark coloured drinks, whether they’re alcoholic or not, are particularly bad for teeth staining.
Dr Khaira said: “Red wine, sangria and similar alcoholic drinks with deep hues not only turn your teeth red but can result in long-lasting discolouration and overall dullness.”
You’ll need to reduce your consumption of these, alongside tea and coffee!
Fizzy drinks are addictive and many people drink them on a daily basis, thinking it’s totally fine.
Not only are these calorific, sugary drinks bad for your general health, they’re a nightmare for your teeth.
Dr Khaira explained: “Fizzy drinks will be more damaging to enamel due to their low pH which will cause a greater erosive effect.”
When your enamel is worn down, more dentin is exposed and the teeth may appear yellow.
Cracks and chips may form and you might notice the edges of your teeth becoming more rough, irregular, and jagged as enamel erodes.
High sugar drinks
High sugar drinks such as artificial juices, squash and smoothies also lower the pH in the mouth, starting the process of tooth decay.
Dr Khaira said: “The bacteria in your mouth live on sugar, so sipping on sweet drinks offers that bacteria plenty of fuel to thrive.”
Just like fizzy drinks, the more enamel is eroded the more yellow your teeth look and the less healthy they are.
How can we minimise the damage to our teeth from drinks?
If you’re drinking any of the drinks above, there are a few things you can do to soften the blow.
Make sure you see your dentist every six months for general check-ups and your hygienist every three to six months as required.
Dr Khaira added: “I recommend using Sensodyne Repair and Protect or Pronamel which helps neutralise the acid in the mouth and can reduce the risks of erosion and tooth decay.”
Every time you take a sip of a damaging drink such as an alcoholic beverage, Dr Khaira recommends having some water.
She said: “Alcohol consumption leads to a decrease in saliva flow, so instead of being washed away naturally, bacteria clings to the enamel and
increases your risk of tooth decay.
“Try to alternate alcohol with a glass or bottle of water to replenish this saliva and keep your mouth cleansed.
“You can also chew sugar-free gum or pop a mint on your tongue between drinks to increase saliva production further.”
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