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Can Straws Help Save Your Teeth?

Most people do not consider the simple straw to have any bearing on their dental health but it can. Drinking certain beverages regularly can have a harmful effect on our teeth. These drinks include high acid beverages, sugary soft drinks, and coffee. The sugars and acid nature of these drinks can wreak havoc on your teeth damaging them permanently.

So How Does A Straw Help Protect Your Teeth?

The straw is a simple tool but it allows these drinks to bypass right past your teeth and limit the time your teeth are exposed to these harmful drinks. Below you will find the top ways a straw can help with your dental health.

-Tooth Decay Prevention. Sipping from a glass causes your beverage to wash over your teeth. The pooling of the liquid in the mouth keeps the teeth in harms way for an extended period of time. Using a straw allows you to drink without having much contact with your teeth. Limiting exposure can decrease your chances of tooth decay from developing over time.

-Keep Your Pearly Whites Their Whitest. Dark beverages like colas and red wine cause your teeth to absorb stains and change color over time. Once stained they become progressively darker. Using a straw allows the staining material to bypass your teeth and  limit contact to the staining agents. The only way to remove these stains properly is through the use of professional cleanings and teeth whitening.

-Tooth Enamel Erosion. Acidic drinks (like soft drinks, high citrus drinks, and energy drinks) can have a damaging effect on the out layers of our teeth. The saliva will attempt to neutralize these acids but over time your enamel will wear and thin allowing them to become permanently sensitive. Drinking with a straw can once again limit the damage from these acids and help keep your enamel intact and strong.

-Sensitive Teeth. Having teeth that are sensitive to hot and cold can be a real challenge for many. Using a straw can help alleviate those symptoms and make drinking your favorite beverages easier and more enjoyable.

Conclusion

Using a straw is not always the preferred or convenient choice when enjoying our favorite drink. However, making that small change can save you money and discomfort down the road. There are many types, sizes, and colors of straws. You may find that they are actually fun to use!  A little change can go a long way towards maintaining your dental health.

© 2013, Marielaina Perrone DDS. All rights reserved. Henderson Cosmetic Dentist

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