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If you are wondering if soda is bad for your teeth, the short answer is yes. Soda and other high sugar beverages are bad for you. Soft drinks can wear away prematurely the enamel on your teeth. Excessive consumption of any carbonated beverage can put your teeth in a high risk category for tooth erosion.
At Friendly Dentistry in Greensboro NC our dental hygienists can discuss a tooth friendly diet with you to help you enjoy good oral health.
Why is Soda Bad For Your Teeth?
Tooth decay is one of the most preventable diseases. Sugar feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Plaque can build up from well-fed bacteria and can lead to gingivitis, cavities and gum disease. Of course, the high sugar in soft drinks is only part of the problem.
Another ingredient that is found in soda is phosphoric acid. It has a high acidity level which can cause tooth enamel to erode. Soda pop gets it fizz from acids. Thinning enamel can invite cavities and will protect the tooth less. A caramel colored soft drink like cola’s can also stain your teeth.
In some cases even beverages that you think are good for you like high fructose fruit juice or orange juice can be damaging to your teeth because of the acid and sugar levels in the beverage. Acidic drinks like acidic foods are not ideal for overall tooth health.
Sugar, phosphoric acid, carbonic acid, and citric acid are all damaging to teeth, but those are not the only reason you should avoid soda.
Soda and energy drinks can cause dehydration because of the caffeine it contains. Why is this bad for your teeth? Caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you. When you are dehydrated you produce less saliva. Salvia washes over your teeth and helps to remove plaque and germs.
When you go for long periods of even minimal dehydration your teeth are at risk of not having the benefit of the natural function that saliva provides. One of the biggest problems with drinking soda is the tendency to overdo it. You can drink soda but do it in moderation.
Tips for Soda Drinkers
Our dental hygienists have a few tips for you if you are a fan of high sugar content beverages that can help to minimize the damage from these drinks. Moderation is the key. Drink soda and energy drinks, as well as fruit juices in moderation. That means no more than a 12 oz. beverage a day.
If you miss that fizz of carbonation, choose carbonated water, which gives your water a little extra pop without causing damage to your teeth and can neutralize acids from sodas and foods. Chilled spring water that is carbonated can be very refreshing.
Other tips include:
- Avoid sipping on soda. Drink it quickly with a meal to ensure that it does not spend a lot of time coating your teeth.
- Use a straw so that the soda or sugary drink has minimal contact with your teeth.
- Swish or rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda. This simple act can reduce the acid in your mouth and wash away some of the sugar.
- Do not hold the soda in your mouth before you swallow.
- Brush your teeth often.
- Try to fit in two servings of dairy each day to help build up the calcium in your body which can help to build strong enamel.
- Enjoy some hydrating water as much as you can and make a deal with yourself to only enjoy a serving of soda with your dinner.
Diet soda may be just as bad for your teeth as sugary drinks. Sugar free drinks that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners are often sweetened with things like fructose (fruit sugars) which can cause just as much damage. Remember it is not only the sugar in that fizzy drink you have to worry about. Carbonated beverages with artificial sweeteners are still erosive.
Make your appointment at Friendly Dentistry today to learn more about a tooth healthy diet.