Brewed Tea and Oral Health
The moment we step into that bewitching aisle of drinks and refreshments, choosing wisely can be an exceptionally challenging task. With the many assortments, flavours and not to mention, inviting colourful bottles and boxes, how do we know which one actually adds benefits to our health?
According to the peer-reviewed journal of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), some citric acids found in fruit drinks are more erosive than hydrochloric or sulfuric acid—which is also known as battery acid. These refined sugars and acids contained in soft drinks and citrus juices promote wearing away of the teeth’s enamel.
Did you know that the average 12 ounce cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar? Interesting enough, the average 12 ounce of cranberry juice cocktail contains 12 teaspoons of sugar! Learn how much sugar is in soda and other beverages here.
When deciding between the many selections available, the AGD suggests choosing brewed tea. Apart from its refreshing good taste, brewed teas are rich in antioxidants which are thought to decrease incidence of heart disease, diabetes and cancers.
Kenton Ross, DMD, FAGD, AGD spokesperson says "I would highly recommend patients choose tea as an alternative to more erosive drinks like soda and fruit juice."
Experts advise that if you do drink tea, avoid additives such as milk, sugar or lemon because these combine with tea's natural flavonoids and reduce tea’s health benefits.
Here are AGD’s tips to decrease tooth erosion:
- Reduce or eliminate carbonated beverages. Instead, drink water, milk, or tea.
- Skip the additives such as sugar, lemon, and milk.
- Drink acidic drinks quickly and through a straw.
- Chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow in your mouth.
- Rinse with water to neutralize the acids, and wait an hour before brushing.