Drink to your teeth's health

Voice mode.  “Go and rinse your mouth after drinking tea or coffee,” you were admonished regularly.  So, if someone asked you, “Which is better for your teeth -- tea or orange juice?” you would consider it a ‘no-brainer’. “Orange juice”, you would reply.

Well, think again. Orange juice, like carbonated sweetened drinks, harms the enamel covering our teeth.  Tea, on the other hand, is just as good as water in its property of leaving teeth's enamel unharmed.

It is the enamel, which protects one’s teeth from cavities. Once damaged, unfortunately, the enamel cannot repair itself.  So, expert dentists advise against not only sugared carbonated drinks but fruit juices, and sport drinks - yes, I’m sorry but they are on the ‘villain’s list’ - too.

All these drinks contain acids such as phosphoric, citric, malic, and tartaric, which strip the enamel off the teeth.

So, what about the so called ‘good guys’   — green tea and black tea? Not only do they steer clear of attacking enamel, often they have fluoride - yes, the same fluoride, you pay for in toothpaste!

Is there a catch?  Not quite, but tea has to be drunk ‘neat’, and not with milk or sugar because these will harm teeth enamel, just like the ‘bad guys’.

Now for the good news: you don't need to rush to Juicers Anonymous.  The damage that acids cause can be mitigated by drinking orange juice through a straw.  Since the amount of drink that comes into contact with your teeth is minimised, the damage to the enamel is less.

Thus with a little common sense, we can keep our pearly whites intact till we reach the Pearly Gates.

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