Hello and welcome back to the Mystic Oaks Family Dentistry blog! In our last blog post, we talked about daily dental habits that everyone should adopt to keep their pearly whites looking and feeling healthy. Those habits include brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash daily. If you are consistent about doing these habits, you will avoid staining, plaque, cavities, gum disease, and possibly losing your teeth! By following these habits,it is possible to go your entire life with your natural teeth.

Today, we are going to talk about another daily dental habit that many in the Wesley Chapel area have adopted: drinking coffee and other staining beverages such as red wine and tea through a straw. They say that drinking through a straw will eliminate or at least lessen the damage that these types of beverages can inflict on our teeth. However, does it really? Today, we are going to discuss whether drinking through a straw really does protect your pearly whites.

Drink Through a Straw?

If this is the first you are hearing about drinking beverages through a straw for the purpose of protecting your teeth, let us enlighten you. For years, dentists, style blogs, and others have encouraged their patients and listeners to drink coffee, wine, tea, and soda through a straw. The logic behind this is that when you drink through a straw, the beverage that you are enjoying won’t contact your teeth, at least those front teeth, and so you can enjoy a whiter, healthier smile.

Does It Work?

The consensus among dental professionals varies and here’s why.

How You Drink From a Straw Varies

Most, when they drink from a straw, put it between their lips and sip their beverage that way. In this case, the liquid isn’t bypassing your teeth at all. If drinkers happen to put the straw between their teeth, the liquid may not come in contact with the front side of their teeth, but it will with the backside. So, when you drink from a straw, you will never be able to skip exposing your front teeth entirely.

If You Taste Your Beverage, So Have Your Teeth

If you have enjoyed the taste of your drink, then your teeth will have been exposed to the drink as well. How so? Well, it’s all due to the good ol’ tongue. If you have enjoyed a beverage, then it is on your tongue and your tongue naturally always touches your teeth.

So, What Do We Do?

Drinking from a straw may mean exposing the fronts of your front teeth to less staining agents, but does it make that big of a difference? Maybe or maybe not. Your teeth will never be completely protected from the foods and drinks that we enjoy. However, a more effective way that we can protect our teeth from damage, and specifically staining, is through chasing what we eat or drink with a big glass of water. Drinking water will not only give us better dental health, but also keep our bodies hydrated and healthy. Keep up your daily dental habits and do or don’t use a straw the next time you grab a latte on the go or are sipping a glass of red on the patio; be sure to keep up with your cleaning appointments by scheduling with your family dentist at Mystic Oaks Family Dentistry in Wesley Chapel.