You may be aware that certain drinks we consume are better or worse for the teeth than others.
For example, acidic or sweet beverages are more harmful to the teeth in terms of eroding the enamel layer and/or causing cavities for instance.
However, did you know that how you consume a beverage can also be better or worse for your oral health as well? It’s true!
Is drinking through a straw better for your teeth?
Because drinking a beverage through a straw means the drink has less contact with the teeth, this is typically better for general oral health than sipping straight from a cup.
Please note that if you recently had wisdom tooth extraction or a similar oral surgery that drinking through a straw is not advised as this can cause a dry socket (dislodged blood clot) since straw-drinking uses pressure. Ask your dentist more regarding this.
Drinking through a straw causes less enamel deterioration and less tooth sensitivity.
Acidic drinks such as alcoholic beverages and lemonade, for example, are prone to wearing away the enamel layer of the teeth due to their high acidic pH. This then causes tooth sensitivity and a higher risk for oral-related problems as the teeth are no longer properly protected as they should. When you drink these beverages through a straw though, the beverage has less contact with the teeth themselves, reducing the risk of enamel deterioration and tooth sensitivity.
It also helps prevent cavities.
Sugary drinks that are sipped straight from the cup are in direct contact with the teeth, leaving sugary residue on and in between the teeth and causing an increased risk of cavity formation. Drinking through a straw, though, helps to prevent this from occurring.
Straws allow beverages that are prone to stain the teeth, such as coffee and tea, to keep out of direct contact with the teeth, thus preventing tooth discoloration.
We all know that dark or very strong beverages stain the teeth over the course of time. Coffee and tea are two of those substances, unfortunately.
However, don’t let this cause you to become discouraged, reducing your consumption of these beverages. Instead, opt for drinking these beverages through a straw to keep your pearly whites as white as they possibly can.
For those suffering from tooth sensitivity, sweet, very cold, or very hot beverages will be less harmful to the teeth when drinking through a straw.
Tooth sensitivity due to enamel deterioration is painful, to say the least. Drinking a beverage through a straw as opposed to sipping from a cup allows less pain for those with sensitive teeth since the beverage has very little contact with the teeth.
For these reasons, drinking a beverage through a straw is ideal in many circumstances. The simple use of a straw can prevent enamel deterioration, reduce the chances of tooth sensitivity, prevent cavities, avoid tooth discoloration, and even prevent the pain from those with pre-existing sensitive teeth. Whenever possible, opt for a straw rather than sipping if your oral health is important to you.
Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.