Most of us know that drinking large amounts of soda and sugary drinks is bad for us. Heavy soda consumption is linked to obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes. It’s not a huge stretch to link it as a negative impact on our teeth as well. At David C. Wood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, we want our patients to enjoy strong, healthy teeth for their entire lives. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up soda completely.
The Science: Soda vs. Teeth
When you drink soda, the sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid, which then attacks the teeth. Diet or sugar-free soda still contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Here’s what you may not be aware of: each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes and starts again with every sip of soda you take. Repetitive, ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel. Kids and teens are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel isn’t fully developed.
Steps and Solutions
A sip or two of soda won’t destroy your teeth. But it’s clear that ongoing soda consumption can have a hugely negative impact. Here’s what you can do to mitigate the problem:
- Drink soda in moderation (no more than one 12 oz. can a day).
- Use a straw when drinking to keep the sugar away from your teeth.
- Brush your teeth afterwards.
- If you can’t brush, swish your mouth with water after drinking to dilute the acid and sugar.
- Stay hydrated the healthy way, by drinking plenty of water (8 glasses a day).
- Sip soda for extended periods of time.
- Drink soda right before before bedtime.
- Substitute soft drinks, sports drinks, or fruit juice for a meal.
Keep Your Smile Strong
You only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s important to understand how your choices impact the health of your teeth. At David C. Wood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we go the extra mile to examine our patients and help them ensure good oral health. Request your appointment today at our Carmel office when you call our helpful staff at (317) 844-0592.