The price you pay when you have soda
Soda consumption has been associated with a number of health issues including obesity, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and weight gain. Notably, sodas can also have ill effects on our teeth, leading to tooth decay.
When you drink soda, the sugar it contains interacts with bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that attacks your teeth. This acid isn’t just limited to your regular fizzy beverages, but also diet sodas. Every time you sip on soda, the acid it produces attacks your mouth for about twenty minutes, weakening tooth enamel. Young children and teenagers tend to be more susceptible to tooth decay as their enamel is yet to be fully developed. By limiting your intake of soda and other sugary drinks, as well as brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, you can reduce your risk of cavities and other problems. It is also important to regularly visit a dentist for check-ups and cleanings.
How do soft drinks affect your teeth?
Soft drink consumption leads to two major dental health issues: erosion and cavities.
Erosion: This occurs when the acids that result from drinking soda weaken tooth enamel, the thin, outermost layer of your teeth that protects them. The result is reduced hardness of the enamel.
Cavities: Regular soft drink consumption is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. They affect dentin, the next layer in your teeth after the enamel, causing cavities. Carbonation, sugar and acids in sodas lead to an influx of bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth, which contribute to cavities.
Alternatives to soda
If you wish to stay hydrated and at the same time reduce damage to your teeth, choose beverages that have lower acid content. You can flavour your water with lemon and other citrus fruits, or herbs such as rosemary and basil to make it more interesting. Sparkling water is a good substitute for fizzy drinks too, as it comes with the same carbonation you desire, but minus damaging sugars, acids and calories. However, if you have to consume sodas, do so in moderation and protect your dental health.
Preventing tooth damage
The best way to prevent dental damage is to stop drinking soda altogether. However, if you’re finding it hard to stay away from them, these are the things you can do to reduce the risk of damage to your teeth.
Drink in moderation: If you are going to continue drinking soda it should be done in moderation.
Drink quickly: The longer it takes to drink a soft drink, the more time it has to wreak havoc on your dental health. The faster you drink, the less time the sugars and acids have to damage your teeth.
Use a straw: Using a straw will keep the drink away from your teeth, lessening direct exposure to soda.
Rinse your mouth with water: Flushing your mouth with some water after drinking soda will help wash away any remnants of sugars and acids, and stop them from attacking your teeth.
Don’t brush after drinking soda: You may think brushing your teeth soon after consuming soda to reduce damage is a prudent idea. However, this is a misconception. The friction from brushing could potentially cause more harm as the teeth are vulnerable due to the sugar and acid attack. Instead, wait for thirty to sixty minutes after consuming soda.
Avoid soft drinks before bedtime: Drinking sugary drinks before bedtime will give the sugars and acids an opportunity to attack your teeth all night.
Drink soda with food: Eating a meal while drinking a soft drink will produce more saliva, helping break down the acids.
Get regular dental check-ups and cleanings: A dental professional can identify problems before they worsen. Regular cleaning will remove plaque and bacteria build-up that promotes decay.
Go Dental Clinic is home to a whole line-up of skilled dental experts and hygienists who can conduct thorough dental examinations and cleanings, preventing dental problems from worsening. Call us at +971 4 397 9522 and book your appointment with our dental specialists.