Does Drinking Through a Straw Minimize Dental Staining?
Posted on 10/20/2019 by Office - Boone DMD
You might be surprised to find out that drinking through a straw does not protect your teeth from being stained by the drinks you consume. Especially coffee and red wine. The next time you drink through a straw, pay attention and notice if you feel the beverage from the straw coming in contact with your teeth. You certainly will, although you may have never paid attention in the past.
The only way to minimize staining of your teeth when drinking a straw is to place the straw in the back of your mouth, just behind your tongue. This allows the beverage to flow directly down your throat and not come in contact with your teeth. Please note, we do not recommend doing this. It is not only extremely uncomfortable, but it's essentially impractical to do every single time. It's the equivalent of taking a shot of liquor where you slam it down directly into your throat.
Keep in mind, that your tongue is constantly touching your teeth, so whatever you are drinking touches your tongue, it's also going to come in contact with your teeth. If you can taste it, your teeth have been exposed to it.
What Does Drinking Through a Straw Do to My Oral Hygiene?
Just as drinking through a straw doesn't prevent your teeth from becoming discolored and stained, it also does not prevent your risk for developing cavities. Even if you have a daily oral hygiene routine, drinking sweet beverages or full of acids, can develop into a build up of plaque, that eventually leads to cavities.
There have been numerous studies at the Center for Cosmetic Dentistry that have proven that drinking through a straw actually increases your chances of developing cavities and decay in one area of your mouth, where you typically position your straw.
If you are an avid straw drinker and want to know how to prevent or treat cavities, feel free to contact us in our office and schedule a consultation to come in and speak to one of our dental experts.