There has been a raging debate of late over the use of plastic straws in restaurants around the U.S. It is clear that plastic straws are bad for the environment, but there are other reasons to get rid of them – including the fact that they are bad for your teeth and your overall oral health.

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Targeted Sugar Exposure

 

When you drink through a straw, the liquid goes into your mouth in a steady stream toward a small targeted area. Often, the area where the liquid comes in is right next to a tooth. If you consume sugary sodas or fruit juices, this means all of this sugar is hitting a concentrated part of your teeth. Your dentist will tell you this puts you at a higher risk of tooth decay.

 

It is possible to bypass the teeth with a straw by targeting the liquid behind the teeth toward the back of the mouth. However, many people find this to be an uncomfortable way to drink.

 

Easier To Consume More Liquid

 

Drinking through a straw is something that you can do subconsciously. Because the liquid is flowing through a small tube, you might not even realize how much you are drinking – even if you go back for refills. Many people may think you consume less liquid by drinking through a straw, but the truth is that straws make it possible to drink more at one time. This means exposing your mouth to more sugars – unless you are drinking water.

 

More Gas and Bloating

 

You could also find yourself feeling more uncomfortable or burping more as drinking through a straw often leads to gulping more air, making some people feel more gassy and bloated. If you have issues with this, you should probably ditch the straw.