Here’s Why Soda is Bad for Your Teeth
Most people, even younger kids, know that soda isn’t the best thirst quencher for your oral health. Even if you are an avid brusher, the sugar content can be quite intense. American Heart Association recommends that women and children should consume less than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugars daily, while men should have 9 teaspoons, which is near impossible if you drink soda.
Let’s take a deeper look at how continuous soda drinking can affect your teeth and how you can regulate your soda consumption and some more teeth-friendly alternatives that will help you get that sugary sweet fix that you crave.
Soda and Tooth Decay
Soda can cause cavities, tooth decay and enamel erosion and is one of the leading causes of tooth decay in the country. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny holes. Due to the sugar content in these drinks, the bacteria between teeth, when exposed to the sugar in soda, produces an acid that can damage tooth enamel.
This then weakens the tooth and allows for decay and eventually cavities. The acidity of many sodas can also reduce the hardness of the tooth’s enamel. Tooth enamel is important as it is there to protect from decay and even with regular brushing and flossing, both regular and diet sodas can break down the enamel of teeth.
Children’s teeth are especially susceptible to cavities as their tooth enamel is thinner and their baby teeth are weaker than adult teeth. When a child gets a cavity baby tooth, it can lead to problems down the road when their permanent teeth come in.
Make sure your children are limiting their sugary drink consumption and start them brushing after eating and drinking sugary snacks at an early age to help keep cavity prevention a routine that can stay with them into adulthood.
Other Drinks to Watch Out For
Soda isn’t the only cavity culprit. Make sure to reduce or limit your consumption of these drinks as well:
- Fruit juices
- Sports Drinks
- Flavored Milks
- Energy Drinks
Substituting sugary drinks with healthier options with less sugar is a great way to keep your teeth happy and healthy. Reducing how much soda you drink and subbing out for one of the drinks below can help satiate your sweet tooth while keeping your smile looking great. Here are a few drinks that are better for your teeth than soda and other sugary beverages:
- Unsweetened Tea
- Sparkling Water
- Water (add lime/lemon wedge for a kick of flavor)
It can be difficult to cut out all sugary sodas and drinks from your diet, but knowing the risks of drinking soda and ways you can minimize the damage to your teeth can help you reach for something less sugary the next time you are at the store.
If you choose to enjoy a soda every once in a while instead of completely taking it out of your diet, there are ways you can help prevent cavities and tooth decay. These are as follows:
- Drink in moderation. Limit yourself to one soda per day
- Use a straw when drinking to minimize the contact with your teeth.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash after you drink.
- Don’t sip. Drink relatively fast.
- Don’t drink soda before you go to bed.
- See your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and checkups.
How to Prevent Cavities
The best way to keep your teeth healthy is prevention of cavities and tooth decay. Here are some tips that will help keep your teeth strong and cavity-free:
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day and ideally after every meal, using fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- To clean between your teeth, floss or use an interdental cleaner.
- Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
- Visit your dentist regularly and get professional teeth cleanings and exams.
- Avoid frequent snacking and sipping, especially snacks that contain sugar.
- Eat and drink tooth-healthy foods and beverages.
Get the Best Oral and Preventative Care with Carrie Muzny DDS
Carrie Muzny DDS offers the highest-quality dental services and care for our patients in The Woodlands and surrounding areas. With state-of-the-art technology and a vast range of smile-perfecting procedures, we stay at the top of our field and deliver smiles as sunny as the state of Texas!
To let us help you get that perfect smile, contact us today or request a virtual consultation!
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