There are many things that we eat on a daily basis that put our teeth at risk. The good news is that you can take a lot of easy steps to give yourself improved oral health without making major changes in your diet. Here are five easy ways to protect your teeth with simple diet swaps.

Swap Sport Drinks for Water

The Problem: Sports drinks contain sugars that can contribute to tooth decay, but, even worse, they are highly acidic. This leads to

erosion of your tooth enamel, weakening your teeth and promoting decay. This is why some top athletes have increased risk of tooth decay.

The Solution: The best way to hydrate during a workout is with plain water. There is some concern that if you overhydrate you might dilute your electrolytes, which can impair performance and may even lead to serious complications. But you can overcome this by not drinking too much water or supplementing with salt tablets.

dreamstime_xs_21432586Add Milk to Your Morning Coffee or Tea

The Problem: Coffee and tea are both protective of your oral health, but they can stain your enamel.

The Solution: Milk reduces the staining properties of coffee or tea. Don’t take this as an invitation to add lots of sugar, too–more sugary drinks in your day will not help your oral health (or your waistline!).

Go Nuts and Ditch Chips

The Problem: Chips and various other carb-heavy salty snacks feed oral bacteria because they have a lot of carbohydrates.

The Solution: If you’re looking for a salty, crunchy snack in the middle of the day, try nuts. Nuts have less carbohydrates that are easily digestible by oral bacteria, since most of their calories come in the form of proteins and fats that oral bacteria can’t handle as well.

Optimize Your Eating Order

The Problem: Finishing with dessert can leave sugary residue on your teeth for hours.

The Solution: Instead of eating your Snickers bar last, finish with something less sugary that can help clean the residue off your teeth. Crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots work great for this.

Pick Beer over Wine

The Problem: Wine is partly protective of your teeth, so this one is a more minor recommendation.You can keep drinking wine if you want, but you should be aware that the highly acidic nature of wine (it’s as acidic as soda or sports drinks) can damage teeth, and dark-colored wine can stain them.

The Solution: Beer is less acidic than wine. It also has antibacterial properties. It also has nutrients that promote your bone and tooth health.

Taking care of your teeth can be easy. Just eat a good diet, brush and floss daily, and make your regular visits to the dentist. If you are looking for an Orange County dentist to help protect your oral health, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.