Every single day, more than half of all Americans enjoy a sugary beverage, and most often that beverage is soda. Drinking soda regularly has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain, but it can also affect your oral health. The sugars found in soda interact with the bacteria in your mouth, forming acid that attacks your teeth and causes decay. Read on to learn more about the adverse effects soda has on your teeth and how you can prevent the damage.
Effects of Soda on Your Oral Health
Erosion and cavities are the two main ways that drinking soda affects your oral health. Erosion starts when the acids in soda reach your tooth enamel. The enamel is the outermost layer of protection on teeth. Acids soften the surface of the enamel, causing it to wear down. Fruit juices and sports drinks have a similar effect on the enamel, but their damage stops there. Soda, on the other hand, can also damage the next layer in the tooth, the dentin. It can even damage composite fillings. This sort of damage increases the risk of developing cavities. Over time, with the regular consumption of soft drinks, cavities and other types of tooth damage become more and more common.
Ideally, the best way to prevent tooth damage caused by drinking soda would be to stop drinking it. For many people, however, it’s not that easy. Follow the tips below to limit the amount of harm caused by consuming soft drinks.
- Enjoy in moderation. Try to limit your soda consumption to just one drink per day.
- Use a straw when drinking to keep the acids and sugars away from your enamel
- Drink the soda quickly. The longer it takes to drink a soda, the more time it has to harm your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth after drinking a soft drink. By rinsing your mouth with water, you can wash away the leftover acids and sugars and prevent them from damaging your teeth.
- Wait half an hour to an hour before brushing your teeth. Contrary to popular belief, you should not brush your teeth immediately after drinking soda. The friction of the toothbrush rubbing against your already-weakened enamel can cause more harm than good.
- Go to the dentist regularly for checkups, cleanings, and other general dentistry services in Houston, TX.This will help you to maintain your oral health and identify problems before they get worse.
- Choose less acidic sodas. Though all sodas are acidic, you can decrease the harm by drinking soft drinks with lower acidity like Sprite, Diet Coke, and Diet Dr. Pepper.
Drinking soda has all sorts of negative effects on your health, including your oral health. The best thing you can do is avoid it. However, by limiting your intake and practicing proper oral health techniques, you can protect your teeth and limit the amount of damage this beverage causes.