Soft drinks can be extremely refreshing, and they might even be a regular part of your daily diet. There are plenty of reasons to only enjoy soft drinks in moderation – one of which is your dental health. That’s because soft drinks can cause damage to your teeth every time you sip! Here’s what to know about soft drinks and how you can keep your teeth healthy and strong.
How does soda damage your teeth?
Most sodas and soft drinks contain between 10-12 teaspoons of sugar per serving (about 8oz). All this sugar can coat your teeth and feed the bacteria that live there. These bacteria eat sugar and produce acid which can wear away at your enamel. When your protective enamel is worn away, it exposes the dentin underneath. Over time, this can cause problems like pain and even cavities. You may also become more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures, and your teeth can appear more yellow. In severe cases, your teeth can begin to lose their natural shape. In short, soda can wear away your teeth over time and require some extensive repairs.
Should children have soda?
Although it’s okay for your child to enjoy a soda occasionally, you should make sure to keep an eye on your child’s soda consumption and help them understand it can hurt their teeth while they’re still forming. Even though it may seem safe because your child is still losing their baby teeth, these can still become damaged and infected like normal adult teeth and risk their health.
Is diet soda bad for your teeth?
It may seem like diet soda is a good alternative because it doesn’t have added sugar, but diet sodas, seltzers, and sparkling waters are still very acidic because of the carbonation. They usually contain citric, phosphoric, or tartaric acid which can erode your teeth the same as normal sodas, even if they’re lower in sugar. Make sure to enjoy diet sodas and sugar-free soft drinks in moderation, too.
How to keep your teeth healthy when drinking soda
The best way to keep your teeth protected from erosion from soft drinks is to avoid them and only enjoy them occasionally. Try and sip water throughout the day instead – for kids, swap out soda for milk to harden enamel with a valuable source of calcium. If you do drink soda, make sure to use a straw which can help the fluid bypass much of the surface of your teeth. Additionally, try not to sip on soda for extended periods of time. Finish it within a reasonable timeframe and then have some water to help flush out sugar and prevent plaque buildup. 20 minutes after you finish your soda, give your teeth a thorough brushing to fully get rid of any lingering sugar or acid.
Schedule an Appointment
The best way to keep your teeth healthy is by checking in with your dentist regularly. To meet with Drs. Struby and Smith and learn more, contact our Reno office by calling or filling out our online form.