Did you have a sugary drink today? If you did, there is a good chance that it was a soda!
We all know that drinking soft drinks containing high sugar lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. However, it can also have ill effects on your teeth, leading to cavities and visible tooth decay.
Men are more likely to consume soda and sugary drinks. Teenage boys drink more than men and get about 273 calories from it every day.
When you drink a soda, the sugar present in it interacts with bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which attacks your teeth. Even regular and sugar-free sodas contain acids, and these acids attack your teeth as well. With each sip of soda, you create a damaging reaction that lasts for about 20 minutes. Your teeth suffer a constant attack if you drink the whole day.
Effects of Soda on your Teeth
There are two major effects of drinking soda on your teeth
Erosion starts when the acids in soft drinks come in contact with your tooth enamel. It is the outer protective cover on your teeth—the acids affect your teeth by reducing the surface hardness of your enamel. Even though sports drinks and fruit juices can also damage the enamel; they stop there and do not damage your teeth any further.
Soft drinks move on from your enamel to the next layer known as dentin, and can even reach composite fillings. This severe damage to your tooth enamel can give rise to cavities. These cavities, or caries, develop over a period, especially in people who drink soft drinks regularly. If there is an added factor of poor oral hygiene as well, then this can cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
For both these problems, you need to visit the dental clinic to get it treated.
How to Prevent Damage to your Teeth?
Stop drinking soda; that is the only permanent solution to solving teeth damage. However, many of us just cannot seem to get rid of the habit. There are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of damaging your teeth:
- Moderate drinking: Do not have more than 1 soft drink each day; one will do enough damage for the day.
- Drinking quickly: The longer you take to drink a soft drink, the more time it has to do havoc on your teeth. Drinking it fast will give sugars and acids less time to damage your teeth.
- Drink with a straw: Drinking with a straw will keep the damaging sugars and acids away from your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking: Rinsing your mouth with some water after soda drinking will help wash any remaining sugars and acids, and stop them from attacking your teeth.
- Do not brush immediately: Brushing your teeth immediately after you have a soda is not a good idea. Because the friction against the vulnerable acid-attacked teeth can do more harm than good to your teeth. Instead, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you brush.
- No soft drinks before bedtime: The sugar will not only keep you up all night, but the sugar and acid will have the whole night to attack your teeth.
- Regular dental checks: Regular teeth checkups and exams will identify and maybe solve the problems before they worsen.
Some Alternatives to Soda
You can do less damage to your teeth by picking soft drinks that have a lower acid in them. According to research, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are two of the most acidic soft drinks on the market while, Sprite and Diet Coke are some of the least acidic soft drinks (but they are still not the right choice).
Even though they are popular, soft drinks can never be a healthy choice. If you have to drink soda, drink in moderation, and protect your teeth in the process.
Remember, it is always good to warn people about the dangers of soft drinks. It is not just sugar soda, but diet soda; too, that harms your teeth. The acid in soda attacks your teeth. Once this acid eats away at your enamel, it goes on to create cavities, leaves stains on your teeth, and erodes the inside structure of your teeth. So, avoid drinking soft drinks, or limit their intake and take good care of your teeth. If you face any dental issues, get a consultation from the best dentist.