If you had a sugary drink today, there is a good chance that it was a soda!
You may be aware that drinking soda containing high sugar causes obesity, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. But, did you know that it can also have ill effects on your teeth, leading to cavities and visible tooth decay?
When you drink a soda, the sugar present in it interacts with bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which attacks your teeth.
Even regular and sugar-free sodas include acids. These acids attack your teeth as well. With each sip of soda, you create a devastating reaction that remains for about 20 minutes. If you drink the whole day, your teeth suffer from continues attacks from the soda.
Effects of Soda on your Teeth
There are two main dangerous effects of drinking soda on your teeth
Erosion begins when the acids in soft drinks meet with your tooth enamel. It is the outer protective cover on your teeth—the acids affect your teeth by minimizing the surface hardness of your enamel. Even though sports drinks and fruit drinks can also damage your enamel; they stop there and do not damage your teeth any more.
Soft drinks move on from your tooth enamel to the next layer known as dentin, and can even harm composite fillings. This damage to your tooth enamel can cause cavities.
These cavities develop over a period, especially in people who drink soft drinks every day. If there is an added factor of poor oral hygiene as well, then this can cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
For both these problems, you need to visit a dental clinic to get it treated.
How to Prevent Damage to your Teeth?
Stop drinking soda; that is a permanent solution to solving teeth damage. However, many of us cannot get rid of the habit. There are some things that you can do to minimize the risk of damaging your teeth:
Moderate drinking: Do not have more than 1 soft drink each day; one will do sufficient damage for the day.
Drinking quickly: The more time you take to drink a soft drink, the more time it has to damage your teeth. Drinking it fast will give sugars and acids less amount of time to damage your teeth.
Drink with a straw: Drinking with a straw will prevent the damaging sugars and acids from reaching your teeth.
Rinse your mouth with water after drinking: Rinsing your mouth with some water after drinking soda will help wash any remaining sugars and acids. It will stop them from attacking your teeth.
Do not brush after drinking soft drinks: Brushing teeth immediately after you have a soda is not a good idea. The friction against the vulnerable acid-attacked teeth can do more harm than good to your teeth. So, wait for 30 to 60 minutes before you brush.
No soft drinks before bedtime: The sugar will not only keep you up all night, but the sugar and acid will have the whole night to attack your teeth.
Dental checks: Regular teeth checkups and exams will identify and maybe solve the problems before they worsen.
Alternatives to Soda
You can do less damage to your teeth by picking soft drinks that have a lower acid in them. According to studies, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are 2 of the most acidic soft drinks on the market while, Sprite and Diet Coke are some of the least acidic soft drinks (but they are still not a right choice).
Although popular, soft drinks can never be a healthy option. If you have to drink soda, drink little and protect your teeth in the process.
Remember, it is always good to warn people about the devastating effects of soft drinks. It is not just sugar soda, but diet soda; too, that harms your teeth. The acid in soda attacks your teeth.
Once this acid eats away at your enamel, it goes on to form cavities, leaves stains on your teeth, and erodes the entire structure of your teeth. So, avoid drinking soft drinks, or limit their intake and take good care of your teeth.