Fact or fiction: Does using a straw prevent teeth stains and cavities?

By: Health Local Staff Jan 13, 2014
Fact or fiction: Does using a straw prevent teeth stains and cavities?

Can using a straw save your teeth even when indulging in sugary drinks?

A common trend is circulating nightclubs and posh bars throughout the country, which is using a wine straw to prevent teeth stains. While many believe that using a straw can eliminate acidity on the teeth that leads to erosion, new questions arise. Can using a straw save your teeth even when indulging in sugary drinks?

According to a spokesperson from the Canadian Dental Association, who specializes in teeth erosion, using a straw is highly beneficial to the protection of your teeth. Whether you sip wine routinely or indulge in a sugary soda, drinking with a straw will minimize the acid and sugar contact with the teeth. When sugar or acid is minimized, the teeth are preserved.

According to the Canadian Dental Association, we are not in the clear, even when using a straw to sip all kinds of drinks. The back molars are constantly at risk. Whether we drink soda pop or wine, acid and tooth decay may develop on the teeth, which puts them at risk for erosion.

What can you do to eliminate the risk of erosion?

Aside from avoiding sugary drinks all together, it is best to brush your teeth immediately following consumption.

Of course, most people who consume alcoholic beverages or sugary sodas are not always doing so at home. The likelihood of brushing immediately after consumption is not likely. Dentists recommend carrying sugar free gum in your purse or pocket. Chewing sugar free gym within 30 minutes following the drink can help balance the enzymes and neutralize the acid in the mouth.

If you don’t have access to a toothbrush or sugar free gum, drink a glass of water with your wine or soda. Swishing the water on occasion keeps the acid neutralized and prevents it from building up in your mouth. The less acidity, the less likely erosion development of the teeth.

Straws are one of the best ways to prevent teeth stains and cavities from developing. While straws are not stand-alone preventative devices, they are a means of eliminating the likelihood and slowing down the process of erosion.

It is a good habit to always drink a soda with a straw. Restaurants make straws readily available. And, thanks to a few leading wine companies, wine straws are beginning to make their way onto the scene.

Until wine straws become as common as the napkin, it is best to pack your own straw in your purse if you are concerned about acid development while drinking wine. Small cocktail straws can be hidden in in your wallet, along with a few pieces of sugar-free gum.

If you really want to go the extra mile and prevent tooth stain and cavity development, don’t leave home without your toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.