health

7 Unexpected Dangers Of Drinking From A Straw That Most People Don’t Know About

by Kate Taylor
Kate is a writer who laughs at her own jokes and likes to pour too much hot sauce on her food.

Many of us were first introduced to drinking straws at a young age, thanks to juice boxes. There is still something very satisfying about poking a straw through the foil and unleashing the liquid.

All bets are off when we get old enough to drink soda. I’ll be the first person to admit that Sprite tastes 100% better from the soda fountain sipped through a straw. It’s amazing how a little plastic cylinder can transform a boring old drink into a fun and festive experience.

There is, of course, the perk of enjoying the convenience and cleanliness of drinking from an adult sippy cup.

As an obvious fan of straws, it was surprising and frankly tough for me to realize that the costs of sipping from a straw outweigh the benefits.

It’s hard to believe that something as innocent as sipping from a straw is doing damage to my body and the environment, but anyone who likes to drink from a straw needs to know the truth:

Thumbnail Credit: Flickr / Jerad Bitner, Wikimedia Commons

Why Do People Sip From Straws?

<u>Why Do People Sip From Straws?</u>
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Sipping from a straw is second nature to plenty of people, myself included.

Many people drink from straws because it’s simply easier, or because their to-go cup requires one. For me, drinking from a straw has become somewhat of a habit.

With that said, some people sip this way because using a straw reduces tooth exposure to sugary and carbonated drinks in the mouth, preventing acid erosion according to Delta Dental.

While there are some clear perks, they may be outweighed by the setbacks involved with sipping from straws.

Straw Drawback #1: Causes "Smokers' Lips"

Straw Drawback #1: Causes "Smokers' Lips"
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

We are all bound to get some wrinkles sooner or later, it’s part of life. However, we can all agree that developing fewer wrinkles later than sooner is preferable.

People who smoke are known to develop lines around their lips from the repetitive motion, which are appropriately called smoker’s lips.

Turns out that smoking isn’t the only activity that causes these types of lines.

Celebrity esthetician Renée Roleau explained to Marie Claire that, “When drinking out of a straw, the movement of the mouth area that you have to make will encourage the breakdown of collagen and elasticity more quickly, causing unnecessary wrinkles and lines.”

Straw Drawback #2: Stains Your Teeth

Straw Drawback #2: Stains Your Teeth
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Many people think that using a straw protects your teeth from stain-causing liquids.

However this only works if you suck the liquid straight into your throat and miss your mouth completely, which sort of defeats the purpose of enjoying a drink anyway.

Greenspoint Dental confirms that straw use does little to actually protect your teeth from exposure.

In fact, since straws actually allow you to drink more, they could cause additional staining.

Straw Drawback #3: Causes Excess Gas

Straw Drawback #3: Causes Excess Gas
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Being gassy is uncomfortable for everyone involved. It’s the type of thing that is in your (and your friends’) best interest to prevent.

We can all think of a time when our drinking straw was actually more full of air than a drink.

WebMD cites avoiding drinking through a straw as a way to prevent swallowing excess air that causes gas.

Straw Drawback #4: Causes Bloating

Straw Drawback #4: Causes Bloating
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Of course, bloating is related to gas and is another side effect that everyone would love to avoid.

The same gas that causes farting is making you bloated. If you want to be able to button up your jeans comfortably every time, skip the straws.

Straw Drawback #5: Causes Cavities

Straw Drawback #5: Causes Cavities
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Drinking from a straw is supposed to prevent cavities, but it may backfire in many cases.

It all has to do with location of the straw and how you sip. Most people do not sip comfortably with the straw directly in the back of their throat.

Instead, most people sip with the straw in the middle of their mouth.

According to a study by Science Daily, sipping thorough a straw can concentrate the exposure to sugar to one area, causing more severe decay and cavities.

Straw Drawback #6: Straw Production Is Bad For The Environment

Straw Drawback #6: Straw Production Is Bad For The Environment
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

As we probably know, the production of any plastic isn’t doing wonders for the earth we live in.

According to One Green Planet, the 500,000,000 straws that we produce every year are causing tons of air pollution before they are even used.

Straws are usually used just once and discarded, so it’s a lot of waste and plastic for something you throw out after one use.

Straw Drawback #7: They Are Killing Whales And Other Sea Creatures

Straw Drawback #7: They Are Killing Whales And Other Sea Creatures
Laura Caseley for LittleThings

Of course, one of the biggest issues with straws is how they litter the natural world.

It is estimated that 6 million straws and stirrers have been removed from beaches during annual cleaning events over the past 25 years.

According to National Geographic straws are the main contributor to the 8 million tons of plastic that makes it way into the ocean every year.

These little straws are mistaken for food by sea creatures, especially whales, and cannot be digested.

It’s scary to think that being too lazy to properly dispose of straws and other litter can potentially kill a whale.

If these facts don’t make you think about skipping straws, I don’t know what will.

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