Popular Summertime drinks that can harm your teeth and alternatives

Finally, summer weather has arrived!  And with the onset of summer comes some cool drinks that are not so great for your teeth.  Here are some of the frequent summer drinks that cause damage and alternatives that you can try.
-Iced Coffee-as you probably know, coffee causes a lot of staining.  Try using a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.  Also, leave out the sugar.  If you need to sweeten it up, try Stevia which is less damaging. If you actually limit your sugar intake in general many positive health changes can result like: weight loss, diabetes prevention, decreases in auto-immune diseases as well as tooth decay prevention.  And you will find that decreased sugar consumption will alter your perception of food, and you'll crave less sweetness in your diet.
-Summer Cocktails- many like a nice cocktail at the end of the day, or at the bbq. Try to stay away from prepared cocktails like flavored drinks or wine coolers.  They are loaded with added sugar and make the body less efficient in metabolizing alcohol.
-Soda or Energy drinks-Energy drinks are very high in caffeine and sugar, a very unhealthy combination. And your body will crash when those chemicals are metabolized creating a vicious cycle where you'll crave more.  Stay away from Sodas and Energy drinks high in sugar or high fructose corn syrup.  Try having natural juice cut with water or flavored seltzer.  Again, once you acclimate to less sugar in your diet, these alternatives will be sweet enough for you. Your body and teeth will thank you!
-Ice-Believe or not, chewing ice will damage your teeth. It can cause microscopic cracks in your enamel that will cause the teeth to eventually fracture.

A good rule of thumb for healthy eating and drinking is to minimize sugar quantity and maximize natural fibers, fruit and water.  And if you just have to have that sugary snack or drink, try to drink water afterwards to dilute the sugar concentration in your mouth and around your teeth.  And of course, brush after meals and floss daily.  Have a great summer!

Archer Katz

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