We’re sure you’ve heard by now that sugary soda is not good for your teeth. It’s not a secret that soda can be bad for your teeth or your overall health.
There is a very strong link between soda consumption and tooth decay. It has also been linked to other health problems such as diabetes and obesity.
What soda does to your teeth
When you drink soda, sugars from soda react with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid attacks your teeth. This acidic reaction damages your enamel and leads to tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the damage of enamel, the hard outermost layer of your teeth. When the tooth begins to decay, cavities form and gums recede, which increases the risk of gum disease, tooth root decay, and painful tooth sensitivity.
Sugary beverages like sports drinks only damage the top layer of enamel; soda also wears away at the dentin layer beneath the enamel, increasing the chance of these unfortunate ailments.
Cavities from tooth decay are nearly inevitable in people who drink soda regularly, especially when poor hygiene is practiced.
Soda and kids
Young children and teens are most at risk because the enamel of their teeth is not fully developed yet.
It is incredibly important to minimize the risk of tooth decay in children and teens to prevent long-term irreparable damage.
How to prevent soda from damaging your teeth
- Drink in moderation
- Drink quickly
- Use a straw
- Rinse your mouth with water afterward
- Wait before you brush
- Avoid soft drinks before bedtime
- Get regular dental cleanings
You can take a variety of precautions to prevent tooth decay, but the most effective one is to not drink soda at all.
Drink in moderation – Don’t have more than one soft drink each day. Just one will do damage enough.
Drink quickly – The longer it takes to drink a soft drink, the more time it has to wreak havoc on your dental health. The faster you drink, the less time the sugars and acids have to damage your teeth. (Just don’t use this as an excuse to drink twice as many soft drinks!)
Use a straw –. This will help keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water afterward. Flushing your mouth with some water after drinking soda will help wash away any remaining sugars and acids, and stop them from attacking your teeth.
Wait before you brush – Despite what you may think, brushing immediately after you have a soda isn’t a good idea. That’s because the friction against the vulnerable and recently acid-attacked teeth can do more harm than good. Instead, wait 30 to 60 minutes.
Avoid soft drinks before bedtime – Not only will the sugar likely keep you up, but the sugar and acid will have all night to attack your teeth.
Get regular dental cleanings – Regular checkups and exams will identify problems before they worsen.
These tips are best used in combination with excellent oral hygiene. Consistent teeth brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash with fluoride can help strengthen your enamel. Your dentist can even apply a fluoride treatment to reverse and prevent early tooth decay.
Avoiding soda, practicing good oral hygiene, and regular visits to the dentist can keep your teeth safe from the damaging effects of soda.
Will soda really ruin my teeth?
The Office of Michael E. Sullivan can help protect your smile with regular check-ups, as well as repair damage from too much sugary soda.
For an appointment with Elmhurst dentist Michael E. Sullivan, CALL 630-530-0770.