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Your Favorite Beverages May Cause Discolored Tooth Enamel

Smiling can improve your mood, soothe your children's fears and even warm the heart of a loved one who is ill. But if your tooth enamel looks dull and discolored, it can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Different things can change the way your tooth enamel looks, including some of your favorite beverages.

Many sodas, teas, sports drinks and sparkling waters contain different types of artificial sweeteners, including high-fructose corn syrup and sucrose. These beverages may also contain strong ingredients like phosphoric acid. Long-term exposure to the ingredients listed above can potentially damage or discolor your enamel.

Learn how the ingredients in your favorite beverages can affect your tooth enamel and how you can prevent these problems.

How Can Certain Drinks Hurt Your Tooth Enamel?

Although the sweeteners used to enhance the flavors of sodas and other beverages taste good, they may wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. The substances stick to the surfaces of your tooth enamel and attract the bacteria inside your mouth. As bacteria feed on the sugary substances, they create an acidic byproduct.

The beverages also contain their own acids. This acid allows the beverages to fizz, bubble or pop when you drink them. Acid can also enhance the color and texture of different drinks, including sports drinks and sparkling waters.

If acid sits on your teeth long enough, it can dissolve the calcium, phosphorus and other minerals in your tooth enamel. When your enamel lacks sufficient minerals, it becomes fragile enough to decay or fracture. The weakened areas may show up as chalky white or yellow spots. Eventually, the spots attract food and other stains.

Acid erosion isn't something you can reverse or treat at home. Once the process begins, it can damage your teeth permanently. If you make changes in how you consume your beverages now, you can improve the condition of your enamel.

How Do You Protect or Improve Your Enamel?

If you love to sip on soda, sweet tea or fruit-flavored beverages at mealtime or throughout the day, replace them with water, white tea or natural fruit smoothies. You can also control the sugar content in your beverages by making them yourself. For example, you can add frozen strawberries or mango to your water to enhance the flavor.

If you still wish to consume sports drinks during and after your workouts, choose items with no added sugars. The beverages should also be low in phosphoric acid and other acids. Plain water can also give you the energy boost you need, as it hydrates the cells and muscles in your body.

Water can also improve the condition of your mouth and body overall by keeping it well hydrated. A number of people consume sugary or fizzy drinks to quench their thirst. However, these ingredients can have the opposite effect on your mouth tissues. The sugar, caffeine and other ingredients in soda may cause dehydration instead.

Dehydration can affect the fluids in your mouth, including your saliva. Your tooth enamel, tongue and other mouth tissues need saliva to protect them from inflammation and infections. The natural substances also contain unique enzymes that keep the bacteria in your mouth from growing out of control.

If the helpful tips listed above don't improve the condition of your enamel, see a dentist for treatment. If your tooth enamel is damaged by acid, a dentist can take steps to treat it. A dentist may strengthen your enamel with fluoride, which remineralizes your teeth.

If your tooth enamel is healthy but discolored, a dentist may suggest that you whiten it. Tooth whiteners can remove stains as well as brighten and lighten your teeth. You may also qualify for porcelain veneers and dental crowns. These treatments not only cover discolored tooth enamel, they protect it.

You can protect and improve your tooth enamel now by contacting Moana Dental Care for an appointment.

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