Recently, many companies and individuals have moved away from using and offering plastic straws. How does this ‘ban on straws’ affect our oral health?
Increased awareness around the environmental impacts of plastic, particularly plastic waste in the ocean, has caused some businesses, and even cities, to ban or restrict distribution of plastic straws. Plastic straws account for about seven percent of plastic waste in the United States.
Using a straw can have some serious benefits to your oral health, and you can do so without harming the environment.
The benefits of using a straw:
- Straws can help protect against cavities
If positioned correctly, straws can limit the contact between liquids and teeth, which could help prevent cavities if you’re consuming something sugary or acidic. This is especially true for front teeth, which can become stained or discolored from repeated exposure to harmful liquids. Sensitive teeth? Grab a straw! Straws can be great for those who suffer from tooth sensitivity because they allow cold and hot liquids to pass by the teeth without contact.
- Straws can help those who need them
For certain people, straws can be a big help. Certain disabilities can create barriers for completing everyday tasks, such as drinking a glass of water. Straws can help make that a more accessible task.
The good news!
Straws don’t have to harm the environment. There are many reusable alternatives to plastic straws like stainless steel, silicone, bamboo or glass.
If used effectively, straws can have a helpful impact on your smile. For your specific dental needs, it’s always best to consult with a trusted professional.