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It’s a hot day, and you’re feeling the effects of the heat and the sun. You go to the refrigerator and help yourself to a nice cold glass of…what? You may want to give that some thought since what you drink has a direct effect on your teeth.

If you are craving a soda (or “pop”), keep in mind that drinks containing sugar are not the best choice. The sugar in that soda will react with the bacteria that you have in your mouth to create an acid, which will attack the enamel on your teeth. Caffeine can dry out your mouth. If you choose soda over water, at least have a glass of H2O after your finish your drink.

A sports drink may sound like a good idea after recreating, competing, or even after a long, hot morning of yard work. But keep in mind that many sports drinks contain sugar as well. If you enjoy a sports drink after a workout, try adding water to it, have some water afterward, or just skip it and go straight to the water.

You may reach for a glass of juice. Before you savor that flavor, be sure to check the sugar content since many fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar. Juices can contain  vitamins and minerals, but you might want to consider diluting your juice with a little water before drinking it.

Also, when you take a drink that contains sugar, drink it, don’t sip it. Sipping a sugary drink keeps the sugar in your mouth longer. Always brush your teeth and drink plenty of water afterward to help keep your mouth clean.

Finally, how about a cold beer? Alcoholic drinks of any kind cause dry mouth, and contribute to your risk of gum disease and oral cancer.

Dr. Kathleen Tantuco at Vernon Woods Dental Care Associates in Sandy Springs, Georgia wants the best for you and your smile. If you have questions about how your diet affects your oral health, call 404-692-7913 today to make an appointment for an examination and consultation, and to have your questions answered.