When it comes to keeping sugar away from your teeth, you probably think of all the dentist visits after Halloween. But one of the most common ways to consume sugar in the United States is through soft drinks. You get them at restaurants, they tend to come with free refills, they’re at gas stations, in vending machines. They’re cheap and widely available, but also can cause disaster for your enamel.
What does soda pop do to your teeth?
What actually goes into the tooth decay caused by soft drinks is a bit more complex than you might realize. While sugar = bad, is normally the narrative we see, there is a science to just exactly why soft drinks are detrimental to the structural health of your teeth. Erosion, discoloration, and even permanent damage can be the result if you intake too much soda in one day.
To give you a better understanding of just what soda can do, we’ve put together some quick hitting research on exactly what soft drinks can do to your teeth if you’re among the 50% of Americans who consume those beverages.
Sugar and Bacteria
The sugar inside soft drinks is not, by itself, a problem. The problem happens when that sugar reacts with natural bacteria in your mouth. The result is a 20-minute chemical reaction between the sugar and bacteria that erodes tooth enamel and causes structural damage to the teeth themselves. If you drink soda throughout your day, the damage is happening constantly.
The enamel of your teeth is important. It’s the protective outer layer that keeps the dentin and everything below that safe. But, being that it’s your teeth’s first line of defense, it can also be the most susceptible to damage and ill effects. The acid from soda and the sugary reactions will wear down on the enamel, which will weaken your teeth and ultimately leave the dentin open to attack.
If the enamel of your teeth gets stripped away, the next step is damage at a deeper level through cavities. Cavities are holes in the enamel that eventually travel down into the dentin and can even start to affect the root if left unchecked. Plaque is the main cause of cavities and sugar and acid don’t help the situation.
What if I Can’t Stop Drinking Soda?
Drinking soda is a hard habit for anyone to kick, especially with it being so readily and cheaply available. So, if you can’t cut it completely, there are ways to fight its effects. You can drink through a straw to better protect your teeth, use mouthwash afterwards, give yourself some time and brush your teeth when you’re done, or at the very least moderate your intake.
What Are There Soda Alternatives?
So, you do want to kick the habit, but you need something to replace soda. One step is at least getting off cola drinks, which have a higher acidity than other options. Sprite and other clear sodas are easier on the teeth from an acid standpoint. Diet versions of Coke and Dr. Pepper are also among the least acidic options available.
Everything needs to be in moderation. Even if you can’t completely kick your soda habit, you can find ways to slow the danger it causes your teeth and make your next dental visit a little less painful. Twice daily brushing and regular dental visits should go without saying.
Sedki Dentistry wants you to have a healthy mouth and smile that lasts a lifetime. Proper oral health habits and dental check ups 1 -2 times a year is highly recommended and can help keep your oral health in check. If your mouth is healthy, your overall health is more likely to be healthy.
Our family dental office in Commerce MI offers services for all dental health concerns. Offering services in cosmetic dentistry, dental treatments, dental procedures, orthodontics, children’s dentistry and more. Get a great smile, call today and schedule a Free dental consult!