Better Think Twice About Sugary Drinks
Who doesn’t love an ice cold soda on a warm day or a sports drink that promises to replenish your body after a work out? While these drinks are delicious, they often pose a threat to the health of our teeth due to the high sugar and acid content. In Today’s blog we’ll discuss the effects of sugar and acid on teeth and why it is worth it to limit or eliminate these beverages from your diet.
What Effect Does Sugar and Acid Have on Teeth?
The bacteria that reside in the mouth use sugar feed themselves. The bacteria metabolize sugar into acid which dissolves and damages tooth structure leading to tooth decay. The acidic condition of many sweetened drinks also contributes to dental decay by weakening and dissolving enamel. Sweetened beverages create a situation where all tooth surfaces are coated in sugar and making it easily accessible to the bacteria that live in the mouth. In addition, sipping a sweetened beverage throughout the day will increase the damage done to teeth. This is because an acid attack on the teeth lasts about 20 minutes, and every time a sip is taken the process starts all over again.
Of course diet soda does not have sugar in it, but instead has artificial sweeteners. This does not change the fact that diet soda is just as acidic as regular soda. Diet soda is able to readily dissolve and weaken enamel, creating an environment where tooth decay could occur.
How Do I Prevent Damage to My Teeth From Soda?
- The obvious answer is to completely cut soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc out of the diet. However, that seems like an unreasonable request unless you are very motivated to drop sweetened beverages out of your life. What’s the next best thing? Moderation! Try to limit the amount of sweetened beverages that you consume.
- After a sweetened beverage is consumed take a drink of water (preferably fluoridated) to help dilute the sugar and acid. This will help bring the oral pH back to basic instead of being acidic.
- Wait at least one hour after consumption of an acidic beverage before brushing the teeth. The abrasives in toothpaste could cause further damage to the already weakened enamel.
- Brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste to help keep enamel strong!
- Get your fluoride treatments at the dentist to help keep enamel strong. 6 month dental check-ups are important to maintaining good oral health and having the opportunities to ask questions about prevention and dietary concerns.
Thank You for Reading Our Blog!
For even more information about the harmful effects of different drinks on teeth please visit drinksdestroyteeth.org. This website is sponsored by our friends at the Indiana Dental Association and provides great information about specific drinks and how to educate kids about the negative effects of sugary drinks! Don’t forget to schedule your 6 month check-up in the office, give us a call at 317-535-7141. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!