Why is Soda Bad for Your Teeth?
It’s no secret that heavy soda consumption is bad for your overall health. It has tremendously negative effects on the body, linking it to health complications including diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis, but it also has negative effects on your oral health as well.
Soda is a fizzy sweet drink that contains carbonated water, sweeteners, and a natural or artificial flavoring. The sweeteners in soda can be either sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, an artificial sweetener or a combination of the above.
Since soda contains a mixture of various sugars, they mix with the bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that begins to erode your teeth and weaken its enamel. Young children and teens are the most susceptible to tooth decay because their enamel is not fully developed. All soda’s regardless of being regular or sugar-free contain its own acids that also contribute to tooth decay.
There are two main dental effects of drinking soda: Erosion and Cavities
Erosion and Cavities?
Tooth erosion begins when the sugar and acids in soft drinks encounter the tooth enamel, which is the outermost protective layer on your teeth. The effect of erosion is to reduce the surface hardness of the enamel and further enter the tooth. If the acid is able to penetrate the enamel, it can affect the second layer of your tooth called dentin. Eventually, this damage to your enamel will cause a cavity to develop over time and if left untreated, a cavity can go on to cause an infection in the tooth called a tooth abscess.
How to Prevent Damage To Your Teeth
The first and most important solution is to stop drinking soda, both for your overall physical and oral health. We do understand that this may be a stretch, which is why we decided to list out a few tips to help reduce any damage done to your teeth by drinking these sugary drinks.
- Try to drink soda in moderation – We understand that it tastes good, but try to have no more than one soft drink a day. It’s already shown that one a day will do damage so try to limit it to this.
- Drink your soda quickly – The longer it takes to drink your soda, the more time it has to wreak havoc on your oral health. The faster you drink, the less time the sugars and acids have to damage your teeth.
- Try to use a straw – By using a straw to drink soda it will help keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth. This is not a guarantee that the soda won’t touch your teeth but it will help.
- Rinse with water or mouthwash – By flushing your mouth with some water or mouthwash, it will help wash away any remaining sugars and acids in the mouth and stop them from eroding your teeth.
- Wait 30 minutes before you brush – The majority of us would assume that brushing immediately after you have a soda is actually not a good idea. However, this is less than true. This is because the friction from brushing against the vulnerable and recently acid-attacked teeth can do more harm than good. Instead, it’s best to wait 30 to 60 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Avoid soft drinks before bedtime – The most important point is to not have a soda before your bedtime. Not only will the sugar likely keep you up all night, but because the sugar and acid will have the entire night to attack your teeth and cause erosion. If you’re going to drink a soda, try to have it a few hours before bedtime, so there is enough time to wait enough time to brush your teeth and let your “sugar high” come down.
Learn to stay hydrated the right way
Making simple adjustments to your drinking habits can alleviate any potential oral health problems.
Most sodas and sugary drinks can actually speed up dehydration, causing you to feel thirsty quicker. So the next time you feel tired at work or school, don’t reach for a caffeinated beverage, drink water! It’s great for your body and won’t damage your teeth like soda and other caffeinated beverages will.
At Go Dental Clinic, we want to help you keep up with your oral health. If you’re interested in booking a Dental Check-up appointment, please Contact Us on 04-397-9522 at any time to book a consultation with our Hygienists or General Dentists.