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Like sugary and acidic food, certain beverages contain tooth-harming levels of sugar, acids and chromogens. To protect your mouth, be aware of how much of these drinks you consume and the effects they have on your teeth.

1. Soda

The high sugar and acid contents in soda soften the enamel (the hard, protective layer over your crowns), leaving your teeth vulnerable to cavities. In 2014, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper Snapple Group resolved to reduce the amount of calories consumed by Americans by marketing smaller drinks with reduced sugar.

2. Alcohol

Alcohol is used as a drying agent in chemical procedures, and it has the same effect on your mouth. In addition to reducing your saliva (which helps keep plaque off your teeth), alcohol creates an acidic environment, which softens your enamel. The high sugar content increases your risk of cavities. Red wines also leave heavy stains on your teeth over time.

3. Coffee

Coffee contains intense color pigmentation known as chromogens. Chromogens attach to the surface of your teeth and stain them yellow. Depending on your preference, your coffee may also contain high levels of sugar.

4. Tea

Black tea can stain your mouth even more than coffee due to its high level of tannin (a bitter organic substance found in bark and other plant tissue). Green and herbal teas are less likely to stain.

5. Sports drinks

While sports are preferable beverage to water after a hard workout because of their electrolyte power, they contain high acid contents that endanger enamel. In fact, sports drinks are even worse than soda.

Water is always the best option, but milk has dental benefits as well. For more information on beverages and your oral health, contact Dr. Jose-Luis Ruiz at 818-641-5577 and schedule an appointment. We are located in Studio City, California.