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Can Drinking Through a Straw Protect Healthy Teeth?

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You work hard for your health — whether it’s watching what you eat or making sure to get enough movement and exercise into an already packed day. But health doesn’t stop at your diet and exercise — your oral health plays an important part in your overall well-being, too. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), bacteria and inflammation linked to periodontitis (the advanced form of gum disease) can play a role in other health conditions like stroke, cardiovascular disease, and pneumonia.

This makes maintaining healthy teeth equally as important as maintaining a healthy diet. But similar to the myths and misconceptions around the best ways to lose weight, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to what’s best for your oral health.

Using a Straw For Healthy Teeth

Has anyone ever told you that drinking through a straw is the key to protecting your teeth? While it sounds like a great idea (the straw can help the liquid bypass our actual teeth), it’s not quite that simple, according to Jorge Vazquez, DMD, dentist in Coral Gables, FL. “Drinking acidic liquids through a straw helps lower the contact time that acid has with your teeth, but you’ll still need to remove the acid from the tooth’s surface as soon as possible,” he said. And while the type of straw you use may be more eco-friendly than others (such as opting for paper or a reusable metal straw over plastic), the straw material won’t matter much when it comes to your oral health. “The type of straw you use is not as important as the time you take between ingesting acidic liquids and rinsing those liquids out of your mouth,” Dr. Vazquez said.

The Best Way to Have Healthy Teeth

Rather than focusing on how you’re drinking liquids, Dr. Vazquez says, the best thing you can do for your teeth is to make sure you drink plenty of water after sipping on something with acid in it, such as soda, fruit juice, or a flavored sports drink. “This will help drastically reduce acid contact with your tooth enamel,” he said.

In addition to making water your best buddy at mealtimes, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste is a great way to fight back against cavities, and brushing with Pronamel Strong & Bright takes tooth health up a notch by helping to protect your enamel against the effects of acid erosion as well as helping you maintain healthy teeth!

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