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We get asked this question a lot, “Is it good to use a straw when drinking sodas and certain other liquids?” Well, you may quite possibly be saving your teeth! According to many dentists, using a straw can prevent cavities. In the case of soda, for instance, drinking from a cup or glass without a straw causes teeth to be covered with sugary or acidic liquids. This can erode the tooth and cause cavities. Straws direct liquids away from the teeth and limit the exposure of liquids to the teeth.

Positioning is everything: put the straw between your lips and in front of your teeth (you will still have some damaging effects from the sugar, but not as much as if you did not use a straw). Don’t put the straw at the back of your mouth, or your teeth will be exposed to phosphoric and citric acids found in soda…or flavor additives that are found in tea. Both of these substances can erode tooth enamel.

The best thing to do is follow the swallowing of any sugary, acidic or staining drink (such as coffee) with a glass of water that will neutralize acids and stain-causing substances.

A few other good reasons for drinking out of a straw:

You are less likely to stain your teeth when you drink coffee, tea or dark-colored soda.
When drinking hot beverages, a straw can keep your mouth from getting burned.
A straw can be more hygienic than drinking out of a glass.
So put your lips together and don’t skip the chance to sip. Using a straw can be good for the health of your mouth!