Elmhurst Dentist Discusses The Ways That Beverages Can Impact Oral Health

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Oct 11, 2022

The foods and drinks that we regularly consume can have huge impacts on how our smiles look, feel, and function over time. In today’s article our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some more information about how various drinks affect oral health. Let’s get started… 


When reaching for a beverage, the best decision you can make for your smile is to pick up a glass of water. Water refreshes your smile, clears away dental debris, and prompts saliva production. Additionally, water, unlike other options, is not acidic or full of sugar. Another benefit of drinking tap water (at least in the United States) is that it contains fluoride, a mineral that has been shown to aid in the re-mineralization of dental enamel.


You probably already know that soft drinks aren’t great for your whole-body health; well, we’re here to tell you that soft drinks can be just as damaging for your smile. To begin with, sodas as quite acidic, which means that they temporarily weaken and soften dental enamel on contact. Additionally, sodas contain loads of sugar, which in turn feed the harmful oral bacteria in your mouth. This is why we recommend consuming soft drinks in moderation, and in specific periods of time, rather than over the course of a full day.


Many types of juice offer some health benefits, because they contain vitamins and minerals that support our immune systems. However, because juice is both acidic and sugary, it usually isn’t very good for our teeth. When you do consume juice, try to do so in short, time-specific sittings, and get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water when you’re finished.

Coffee & Tea

Many of us start our mornings with steaming mugs of coffee or tea. The good news is that these drinks have been shown to contain immunity-boosting antioxidants. Unfortunately, these drinks can be discoloring, since they contain tannins. Additionally, many patients report dental sensitivity when consuming hot coffee and tea. Finally, many of us add sugar and novel flavorings into these drinks, which can be potentially problematic.

Try to keep this information in mind the next time that you’re reaching for a drink at dinner, or stopping for a mid-day caffeine boost. Making better decisions for your smile, even on seemingly small or insignificant matters, can make a big difference over time.  Remember you can always contact our Elmhurst dentists to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation!