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Double-edged: Five drinks that are good on your tongue but bad for your teeth

Everyone has their favourite tipple, but unfortunately most of them aren’t great for your teeth. Yes, they might taste good but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing you any good! The obvious advice to follow is to enjoy everything in moderation, but for those that are more tempted than others, we’ve put together a list of five drinks you should really try to resist!


We know: wine is delicious, but it’s not great for your teeth. The acidic content of wine attacks the enamel and can cause teeth erosion. Also, red wine has a dark pigmentation which stains the teeth. If you think white wine is the solution, then we’re afraid that’s no good either because it’s more acidic. There’s no way around it, wine is bad for your teeth. However, we’re not cruel enough to suggest that you stay clear of it for good. Simply, make sure that you rinse your mouth with water in between glasses and try pairing it with cheese to balance the pH in your mouth.

Bottled Water

We can imagine the gasps when people read this one, but yes, bottled water is on our list. This isn’t to say that bottled water is particularly bad for your teeth, but it’s not as good as tap water. That’s right, good ol’ tap water is a much better option for your teeth because of the fluoride it contains. Fluoride is a great defence for your enamel (you can usually find it in your toothpaste) but it is removed as part of the purification process. Just make sure you drink some tap water as well your favourite bottled brand.

Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are the morning choice for lots of us, some of us can’t even get up without them! However, they are dark in their pigmentation and the darker the drink the more they will stain. This makes coffee and tea pretty bad for those that are looking to get white teeth. The best way to avoid staining and keep on route to getting pearly whites, is to rinse with water after you drink. Also, try to get into lighter brands of herbal tea which are lighter in colour and stain less harshly.

Fruit Juice

Fruit juice is good for you, it gives you vitamins and minerals which are vital to upholding good health. However, it is extremely high in acid. This is especially true with citrus juices such as orange and grapefruit, but even cranberry juice carries a high acidic content. The acid will attack your enamel and can cause teeth erosion in excessive amounts. The best ways to get the good parts of fruit juice and leave the rest behind are to dilute with water to reduce acid content, and buy ‘not from concentrate’ juices which are less acidic.

Sports Drinks

You might feel like a hero with the energy they provide, but sports drinks are a major villain for your teeth (and your body). Sports drinks have some of the highest sugar contents on the market, and as you know sugar isn’t your teeth’s best friend. Neither is the high acid content they contain, or the number of bright colours they usually carry which cause staining. Sports drinks tick almost every box on the ‘bad for your teeth’ list. If you need them to improve your athletic performance make sure they’re paired with water, and lots of it!

We all have that drink we love but we know is bad for us, that’s not a crime. What isn’t great is to not act upon it, so enjoy your favourite drink but make sure you counteract it with the tips above. Essentially, drinking water throughout the day is the number one tip to keep your teeth happy. Things which aren’t so favourable are drinks that are sugary, acidic or dark in colour, so keep an eye out for these the next time you’re absentmindedly sipping on a coffee, tea,  glass of wine, fruit juice or sports drink!