Do you enjoy a favorite soda with lunch every day? You may even try to cut down on consumption because you know soda is high in sugar and thus not good for your waistline. But what you may not realize is that soda is taking a toll on your teeth. Yes, the sugar content is a big detriment to your health but that’s not the only factor that’s causing damage. Let’s explore the negative effects soft drinks can have on your smile.
The average person drinks more than 53 gallons of carbonated drinks each year, with many young children (21 percent ages one to two and 56 percent of eight-year-olds) consuming soft drinks every single day, according to Livestrong.
- Sugar: When left to sit too long, sugar can do some serious damage to those pearly whites. That’s because its damaging effects are correlated with the length of time sugar comes into contact with the teeth. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugar, and as they feed, they form acid that can erode your enamel. Consider this: the average 12-ounce soft drink is loaded with at least 10 teaspoons of sugar, often times more. So, you’re not just risking your dental health, you’re risking the development of obesity and diabetes.
- Acid: Carbonated beverages contain phosphoric acid, citric acid or carbonic acid, which, just like the bacteria mentioned above, will wear away at your tooth enamel. That’s where saliva comes in. It helps out by washing away some of the acid but it doesn’t get it all. Allowing soda to sit on the teeth for a long time, such as hours or even overnight, means the damage is going on behind the scenes and you don’t even know it.
While you don’t have to swear off soda forever, you really should cut down or at least take steps to minimize potential damage. Here are some tips:
- Refrain from drinking soda at all, but if you must drink it, brush after you consume it.
- Drink through a straw so as to limit contact with your teeth.
- Refrain from nursing your soda: Sipping it on and off for an hour while you work is giving the bacteria and acids more of a chance to take hold. Drink and be done.
- If you’re going to have soda, drink it with a meal, followed by a swig of water to swish out your mouth.
Contact Redwood Dental
If all that soda is showing its effects and resulting in stained teeth, call us for a teeth whitening appointment at 800-462-2222. We have in-office and take-home options available.