From apple cider vinegar shots to collagen in coffee, you know a health trend when you see one. Not all are created equal, but it’s fun to test them all out — and will them to make you a more vibrant and well human. But as we drink, eat, slurp, and chug different tonics in the hopes of becoming healthier, we could be overlooking an important piece of our health. Our dental health. Our mouths are more connected to the rest of our bodies than we realise. Here are some health trends that may take a toll on our teeth, gums, and overall mouth health.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are all kinds of rumours going around about this sour and affordable elixir. “Experts” and brands tout that it can boost weight loss, and lower blood sugar —many of those claims were myths. But taking shots of ACV also may be hurting our teeth. Apple cider vinegar is acidic and can erode enamel.
Most nutritionists will tell you that it’s better to stick to a consistent, healthy diet than to go on a crash juice cleanse. And evidently, so will dentists.
Basically, the sugar from juice can wear away tooth enamel and ultimately cause cavities. The bacteria can also irritate the gums and eventually could lead to gum disease.
If you must juice, many recommend drinking from a straw to keep the juice away from the surface of the teeth and brushing your teeth 45 minutes after drinking. Some juices are so acidic it can soften the enamel and this way, the acid won’t eat through, and the sugar won’t cause cavities. Another tip for juicing: Dilute it with water so it’s less concentrated when it hits your mouth.
Many of us have made the switch from dairy milk to almond, coconut, cashew, or oat milk. There are perks to these milk alternatives, especially if you have a lactose intolerance or avoid dairy for ethical reasons. But it’s important to choose your carton wisely. Unlike regular milk, many of these milks are sweetened, so it’s important to pick unsweetened varieties to avoid sugar that could eat away at your teeth.
Secondly, calcium is important because it gives our teeth strength and shape. Almonds also have calcium, and most non-dairy milks are calcium-fortified to include it. It is advised to look for milks that have at least 120 milligrams of calcium per 3.4 fluid ounces to make sure you’re getting what your body needs.
Fad health trends come and go like the wind, and it always comes back to the same conclusion. A balanced diet with plenty of water and exercise is your best option to keep your body, mind, soul AND teeth healthy.