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Will Drinking From A Straw Protect Your Teeth?

Posted on April 29, 2014 | in Dental Care | by

In a word, YES!

Sipping drinks through a straw can certainly provide an additional layer of protection for our teeth and gums.

Especially when we take to sloshing down some sugary slurry or acidic alcohol, straws can help prevent the cavity creeps from making holes in our teeth and even limit staining or discoloration.

Straws Can Prevent Stained Teeth & Help Limit Exposure to Some Causes of Tooth Decay

Use A Straw To Protect Your Teeth

Acidic beverages like coffee, fruit juice, and red wine can stain our teeth – especially with regular indulgence. Things can then go from not so shiny white smile bad to what the h e double hockey sticks happened to make my teeth this color worse if we also manage to skip out on our thrice annual dental cleaning.

Click this link to see why Spring is the perfect time for a smile scrubbing.

You didn’t know straws are the newest chic thing with wine aficionados? All the Sommeliers are doing it.

But in all seriousness, there are basically three reason why using a straw can protect our teeth while downing our favorite drinks.

Avoid Stained Teeth By Using A Straw

This one goes without saying. We’ve all seen someone (or experienced it ourselves) that may have indulged a little too much on the red wine – and we’re not talking about slurred speech, a splitting headache, or a wobbly walk.

You know, that crimson colored hue our once whitish smile takes on whence we indulge a little bit too much in some primo vino.

Avoid the dreaded red wine smile, use a straw instead!

Protect Against Tooth Decay By Using A Straw

For those of us that choose to swig some soda from time to time, using a straw can significantly limit the decay causing exposure our teeth receive when we’re constantly swigging and swishing that most cavity causing cola or sugary soft drink – diet or not.

Usually when we take a sip (or gulp) of something whether its out of a can, bottle, or glass, we tend to allow the liquid to linger in our mouths before swallowing. If w bathe our teeth in sugary slurry on the regular we’re just inviting those cavity creeps to come a calling.

But by using a straw to sip sodas, sports drinks, iced coffee, fruit juices, or energy drinks, we can at least take some preventative measures to limit our exposure to decay causing properties.

Got Sensitive Teeth? Use A Straw

According to Dr. Timothy Modic in Mechanicsville, MD, reducing opportunities for sugar and acid to attack your enamel helps protect it against sensitivity caused by erosion and decay. Straws can also help reduce those jabs of sensitivity caused by cold or hot drinks.

All credit for this post idea goes to Dr. Modic’s blog post you can read here for more tips on using straws to better protect our teeth.

The good doctor goes on to mention how positioning of a straw in our mouths can actually make a difference too. Get into the habit of positioning straws at the back of your mouth so that drinks have minimal exposure to teeth. You can further reduce harmful effects by:

  • NOT swishing beverages around in your mouth.
  • NOT continuously sipping on harmful drinks throughout the day.
  • Following your drinks up with water, sugarless gum, or celery.

And remember, it may not always be best to brush your teeth immediately following a meal. Read this blog post to see why timing is everything.

According to Kansas City, MO dentist Dr. Michael Meilink, research shows that brushing immediately after meals or drinks that are acidic can be a real problem for your teeth. This is because brushing right away could actually push the acid deeper into the enamel and dentin of our teeth.

So the next time you find yourself slugging down some acidic libation or a super sugary syrupy slurry…sip it through a straw instead!

 

 

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of DentalPatientNews.com, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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