Soda is a flavorful thirst quencher; however, the potential damage from drinking soda pop may persuade you to switch over to water. Your dentist is a wonderful source of information when making a decision about the best beverages for you and your family’s dental health.
Soda comes in many flavors; can contain sugar or sugar substitutes; and is carbonated. Let’s break down the things about soda that can damage teeth:
Sugar – Many of the processed foods we consume contain a certain amount of sugar. But the sugar content in soda is high making its consumption a contributor to plaque build-up.
Diet or sugar free soda – These drinks are full of sugar substitutes making them an unhealthy substitute for regular soda.
Soda contains phosphoric acid, which gives this soft drink its carbonation. Dental enamel can suffer from this corrosive additive.
Teeth stain – Colas and brightly colored soft drinks have the capability to stain dental enamel.
Plaque build-up – Everyone has bacteria in their mouth; the sugars in soda cling to existing bacteria. The more soda you consume, the more opportunities for plaque to build. Dental decay and gum disease often are initiated due to build-up of plaque.
Solutions to eliminate or limit the harmful effects of soda on teeth include:
Quit drinking it – Water makes a wonderful option. It is healthy, freely obtained through your tap at home and your teeth will not incur damage from water.
Use a straw – If you are going to enjoy the occasional soda, drink it through a straw. This allows the beverage to bypass most of your teeth.
Rinse your mouth after consuming soda – If you can brush your teeth, all the better. But at least thoroughly rinse after finishing your drink. Just remember if you consume citrus with your drink, avoid brushing your teeth for an hour or so as citrus can soften enamel allowing damage to occur if brushed too soon.
Of course, following a regimen of brushing your teeth twice each day along with flossing your teeth daily will help keep the potential damage from soda as limited as possible. You should continue to see our dentist every six months to have plaque removed that has accumulated since your last visit. Stains from soda consumption may be removed during your cleaning appointment so your teeth will look great and be as healthy as possible.