We live in an era where you are just as likely to see someone sipping on a carbonated soda as water. Readily available everywhere, available in so many flavors, dirt cheap, and packed full of acid and sugar – what kind of damage do they really do to our teeth?
Decay on your teeth is caused by bacteria commonly known as plaque. When the bacteria that exists in your mouth comes into contact with the sugar from soda they begin to feed off or metabolize the sugar and create acid as a byproduct. Then, these acids attack the structure of your tooth and enamel for several minutes afterward. Each. Sip. You. Take. Starts this process all over again.
That’s some food for thought, right? Well, we aren’t going to just leave you hanging with that info without any tips or steps to help you out.
What to do:
- If possible, try try try not to drink sodas that are high in sugar. Many of the most popular brands have anywhere from 10 to 27 Tablespoons of sugar (depending on size – are you a single can a day or the 44 oz. drinker?)
- Diet is not better (they have less sugar, but still have sweeteners and are high in acid content and promote tooth decay in a similar way).
- Drink quickly and Rinse. The longer you bathe your teeth in sugar, the more it erodes your enamel and causes long-term damage. Rather than sip, try to drink it all in one sitting, that will at least allow your saliva to naturally try to neutralize the pH level in your mouth. Rinsing with mouthwash or at least water can help a lot.
- Use a straw (reusable!). It reduces the amount of surface contact.
- Try sparkling water. If you love the fizzy or bubbled part of soda, switching to sparkling water (even with a little added flavoring) can be a step in the right direction. Trace amounts of acid and zero sugar are what make this option dental approved.
- Keep your check-ups and cleanings regular. Dental cleanings remove built-up layers of plaque. Make sure you keep your scheduled visits to see us regular!