Which are the best drinks for your teeth to help avoid dental problems such as tooth decay and tooth wear? Is squash bad for your teeth?
The simplest and safest drink for your teeth is: Tap Water! Everyone can drink tap water.
Schools are very strict now at only giving children water, and even the stubbornest child will drink tap water when she or he is thirsty. This means parents and grandparents can confidently put children’s safety first and insist on children drinking only water too!
Sugar Free (Still) Drinks
For those who prefer the luxury of flavour in their drink, sugar free still drinks (not to be confused with no-added-sugar) are the safe option:
Squash and Cordials
Squashes and cordials contain sugar and so cause tooth decay. They are usually also acidic and so cause acid erosion of teeth.
Even squashes and cordials labelled as no-added-sugar still do contain sugar and so still cause tooth decay. Drinks on the no-added-sugar naughty list include:
- Robinsons Squash
- Vimto No Added Sugar
- Kia-Ora No Added Sugar
- Supermarket own brand No Added Sugar
Diet and Sugar Free Fizzy Drinks
Some drinks are sugar free but very acidic. The acid does not cause tooth decay but can cause tooth wear. These drinks should only be consumed occasionally and ideally only at mealtimes:
- Diet Coke
- Coca-Cola Zero
- Pepsi Max
- Diet Fanta
- Diet Tango
- Lilt Zero
- Sprite Zero
- Dr Pepper Zero
- Many fizzy/sparkling waters
Sugar-full Fizzy Drinks
Some drinks are both very acidic and full of sugar, and should be avoided. If you drink these drinks more than occasionally then you will be at risk of developing tooth decay and tooth wear. Drinks on the tooth-killer list include:
- Dr Pepper
- Fruit Juice
Energy Drinks deserve a category all of their own. These drinks not only are acidic and contain ludicrous amounts of sugar, but they also contain caffeine which makes them addictive and potentially dangerous. Short energy boosts are followed by “sugar crashes”, encouraging you to drink more for another short boost. This regular washing of your teeth with addictive sugary acid results in terrible tooth decay and often leads to dental pain and infection. Major supermarkets have recognised the dangerous nature of these drinks and banned their sale to under anyone under 16 years of age. These drinks should form no part of your diet and should be avoided entirely:
- Red Bull
- Monster Energy
Alternatives to energy drinks
Instead try to have good nutritious wholefood meals with slow-release energy like brown pasta, brown rice and other whole grains, fruit, vegetables and legumes. Slow release energy (complex carbohydrates) help provide you with energy throughout the day without the need for energy boosts. If you do need an energy boost, healthy wholefood alternatives to energy drinks are fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.