Sugary Drinks and Dental Health

dentist TulsaIt’s difficult to step into a market, gas station, or restaurant and not be bombarded with a variety of beverages to entice you. Unfortunately, most of these highly marketed drinks are unhealthy for your teeth. Listen to your dentist regarding the hazards of consuming sugary drinks and soda.

The Damage From Sugar Laden Beverages

When you drink soda, juice, or any beverage that contains sugar you are feeding the bacteria already present in your mouth; they turn into acid, and these acids weaken dental enamel that can result in dental decay.

When you consume soda it’s not just the sugar that poses problems for your teeth … phosphoric and citric acids attack the calcium in your teeth wearing away your dental enamel. Then the sugar can promote acids that permeate weakened enamel that can result in cavities.

Diet soda may not contain the sugar, but those acids are still present. Any sugar in the foods you eat can have the same damaging effect.

While many beverages may not contain the carbonation of soda, their acidic levels and high sugar content make them just as harmful.

What’s Left To Drink?

Water is not only refreshing, tap water will help support your oral health due to the fluoride it contains. You can drink unsweetened coffee or tea; or you can infuse your water with fruit or a sugar free flavoring.

If you are going to add sugar to your morning coffee or cup of tea, follow these guidelines … do not sip for a long period of time. Drink it, and rinse with water (do not brush right away as dental enamel may have been softened – wait 30 minutes if you want to brush). If you’re drinking a cold beverage, use a straw to allow much of the beverage to bypass your teeth.

If you are going to drink a soda, consume it with a meal to allow saliva to do its job in helping to keep the mouth flushed. Finish it with your meal; don’t nurse a soda or sugary drink.

It is important that you do everything you can to keep your teeth healthy … brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily to remove what your toothbrush missed. And visit our dentist at least twice a year to have teeth cleaned and examined to maintain great oral health.

If it’s time to schedule your next exam, contact our team at Howl Dental today.