Dark Drinks and Your Smile

by Jason 8/20/2015 7:00 AM

Starbucks offers more than 80,000 drink options -and that’s just one chain! From coffee shops to supermarkets, thousands of beverage choices surround us everyday. There’s a drink for every time and occasion. 

It’s no surprise then that we struggle to choose the best beverage – one that pleases our palates and nourishes our bodies.

A drink’s color is one of the many ways to decipher a tooth healthy beverage.

Dark drinks, for example, can stain teeth, dulling your pearly whites. Check out these better-for-you beverages that won’t hurt your smile.

Breakfast Beverage

Dark drink: Coffee

The lighter side: Milk

Many of us start the day with a steaming cup of joe. One serving may be harmless, but think twice before you fill your mug again. Over time, this dark beverage can seep into your teeth’s enamel cracks and cause discoloration. 

Forego your second cup for a chilled glass of milk. The calcium found in milk helps put back minerals your teeth may have lost due to other foods (or from your first coffee).

Workout Drink

Dark drink: Sports Drinks

The lighter side: Water

Most popular sports drinks are high in sugar and acid. That combination can wreak havoc on your smile. Why not stick to the original athlete’s ale?

Water quenches your thirst and is crystal clear of the harmful stuff. Depending on an activity’s intensity, workout drinks can be beneficial to some athletes. Dilute your sports drink with water for a tooth healthy compromise.

Lunchtime Liquids

Dark drink: Cola

The lighter side: Sparkling water

Sugar isn’t the only factor that makes dark sodas dangerous. Brown-colored colas contain chromogenic agents, chemicals that can cause tooth discoloration.

Fancify your fountain drink! Sparkling water mimics the carbonation in soda – without the sugar. Add lemon or lime wedges for a kick of citrus.


Happy Hour Cocktail

Dark drink: Red wine

The lighter side: Champagne

Although it’s true red wine can benefit heart health, it’s not your smile’s first choice. The tannins in red wine dry out the mouth and make teeth sticky, worsening stains. If you choose to indulge in a merlot, swap sips with cheese. The chewing stimulates saliva, which neutralizes the wine’s acidity.

To make every happy hour a celebration, choose a glass of champagne. Sparkling wines tend to have the lowest pH levels out of other spirit selections.


The darkness of your drink isn’t the only factor to consider. Sugar and acidity matter too! And, just because it’s dark, doesn’t mean you need to avoid it completely. Enjoy your favorite colored beverages in moderation.

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