On topic with Dr. Kohn: Select beverages with health in mind

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more aware of what I put into my body. I’m a believer of the old adage “you are what you eat.” Everything you eat and drink can have positive and/or negative effects on your overall health and well-being. The healthier the foods and drinks you consume, the better you will look, feel, sleep and perform in physical activities.

I’ve also become more aware of the importance of staying hydrated throughout the day. When it comes to liquids, I generally stick with plain water. I always have bottled water with me in the car, but tap water is also great because it usually has the extra benefit of fluoride. Unsweetened coffee, iced tea and hot tea count as colored water in my book. Recent studies have pretty much dispelled the common belief that these drinks are dehydrating.

For a long time, I’ve avoided soda, fruit juice and any other non-alcoholic fizzy beverages. This is because of the highly acidic nature of most soft drinks and the fact that added sugars are bad for teeth, weight and overall health. In our dental trend spotlight article, we discuss non-sweetened carbonated water. Carbonation itself doesn’t appear to be harmful when it comes to sparkling water, and drinking carbonated water can be a good source of hydration. Just watch out for those with added sugar or citric acids. And if you’re over 21 years old, the occasional beer, wine, scotch or other adult beverage can add to a happy, mellow life.

Meet Delta Dental’s Vice President of Dental Science and Policy, Bill Kohn, DDS. Formerly the director of the Division of Oral Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Kohn has timely tips and valuable insights to share as our resident dental expert.