There’s nothing quite like an ice-cold, sugary-sweet, and bubbly soda when you want to quench your thirst.
But everyone knows that drinking too much soda can do a number on your health and well-being.
So what about the effects of soda on teeth, and how does it hurt your oral health? Read on to learn how and why soda can be harmful to your teeth and cause serious damage.
Sugar Contributes to Bacterial Growth
Consuming things like candy and ice cream can cause cavities since sugar contributes to the buildup of harmful plaque. This also applies to soda, which contains a mindblowing amount of sugar.
Plaque is a sticky layer of bacteria that naturally covers the teeth and gums. When it’s exposed to sugar, the bacteria begin to feed on the sugar, causing harmful bacteria to multiply.
As you drink soda, it forms a sugary layer inside your mouth that metabolizes with acid. The acid starts to attack your teeth and enamel, and these effects can last for as long as 20 whole minutes!
Every moment that your teeth and gums are exposed to sugar increases the damage to your mouth. This causes serious tooth decay which can result in painful cavities that are expensive to repair.
And, to make matters worse, every time you take a new sip of your favorite soda, the bacteria and acid attack starts all over again.
Acid and the Effects of Soda on Teeth
Almost every brand of soda contains ingredients called phosphoric acid and citric acid. These acids are highly damaging to teeth, even healthy teeth.
When your enamel is exposed to these acids, it can soften it which increases your risk for cavities and severe tooth decay. As your enamel wears down, it causes erosion that can expose the inner layers of the tooth.
If the layers of your teeth wear down, it can be highly painful and cause serious sensitivity. Receding gum lines are also affected by the acid in soda.
When your gums are receding, the acid does more damage below the gum line. This can result in bleeding gums, gingivitis, and periodontitis.
It’s also important to note that even though diet sodas don’t contain sugar, they do contain harmful acidic ingredients. This means you’re not immune to dental problems just because you switched to drinking diet soda.
Children who drink soda will likely need to visit their dentist more often than kids who don’t. Problems like cavities, discoloration, and rotting teeth are much more prevalent in children that consume soda on a regular basis.
Soda and Dehydration
When it comes to the effects of soda on teeth, many people don’t think about the dehydrating properties of soda. Not only is staying well-hydrated important for your overall health, but it’s also integral to good oral health, too.
Since soda contains a combination of sugar and caffeine, these ingredients don’t just contribute to dehydration, they also help to speed it up. And this doesn’t just apply to soda. It’s also prevalent in so-called sugary “sports drinks.”
When you’re dehydrated, your mouth gets dry which can lead to bad breath and other oral health problems. Lack of water can contribute to fatigue and give you headaches, dizziness, and more.
Instead of reaching for a soda when you’re thirsty, grab a bottle of cold water instead. Not only will you get the hydration you need, but you’ll also avoid the threat of tooth decay, cavities, and problems with your gums.
What Can You Do?
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can be proactive when it comes to drinking soda so that you can save your teeth. First, only drink soda in moderation and avoid it as a regular beverage on a daily basis.
Rely on things like cold water to keep you hydrated throughout the day. If or when you drink soda, use a straw to help redirect the soda away from your teeth.
After you drink a soda, rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash. This will help to whisk away and remove any excess sugar and acids that are still lingering in your mouth and on the surface of your teeth.
Another option is to simply follow your soda with a cold glass of water. It’s best to drink tap water that has fluoride it in for extra cavity protection.
Always brush your teeth after you drink soda or eat anything with sugar in it. Use a high-quality toothpaste that contains fluoride and follow up with mouthwash and floss whenever possible.
Never drink any soda before you go to bed. If you do, the sugar and acids will linger in your mouth and increase as you sleep.
Practice healthy eating habits and enjoy snacks like apples and vegetables that are delicious while promoting dental health. Avoid sipping on soda slowly, as this can make the damage worse.
And of course, you should always schedule regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist. They can identify any problems and look for any damage before things get too serious.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Once you realize the serious effects of soda on teeth, you can start to take steps toward better habits. Avoid drinking soda whenever you can, and choose water instead.
Rinse your mouth out whenever you drink soda, and practice common sense dental care like brushing and flossing every day.
Give us a call or visit our website to schedule your next dental appointment and be sure to visit our blog for tons of great tips on teen dental care, kids dental issues and much more.