Have you ever heard of the saying “Mountain Dew Mouth”? It happens to our mouth when we consume large amounts of soda.
Dangers of sugar in drinks
When we drink something with high amounts of sugar, much of the sugar sticks to our teeth afterward. Amazingly, sugar itself doesn’t do any damage to our oral health, but it is, unfortunately, the favorite food of the bacteria that live in our mouths. This bacteria eats the sugar and then excrete acids that erode our tooth enamel, causing tooth decay. Bacteria also cause inflammation that will increase your risk of gum disease.
True or False – Any source of sugar can negatively impact oral health.
True – Drinks with sugar in them (including fruit juice, but especially soda) are particularly dangerous because they aren’t filling like solid food and are therefore easy to keep drinking. However, sugary foods are also the cause of heavy tooth decay. Many studies show that soda is the leading cause of bacteria in the mouth.
Effects Of Carbonation
So if the problem in soda is sugar what if we switch to diet soda? Diet soda is a clear improvement, however, the acid coming from carbonation within soda is also a major threat to dental health.
Sugar causes tooth decay because oral bacteria eat sugar and creates acid that erodes tooth enamel. Even diet soda and carbonated water contains acid and applies this acid directly to the teeth.
There are three commonly found acids in soda are citric, phosphoric, and carbonic. Any drink with citrus flavoring will have citric acid, many colas get their flavor from phosphoric acid, and carbonic acid is what makes these drinks fizzy in the first place.
Protecting Your Smile
Avoiding soft drinks all together is the best option for your teeth. For some people avoiding their favorite soda is like avoiding their child. If you can’t bring yourself to giving up your favorite soft drink, then we have a few tips on how to better protect your teeth.
- Only drink the soda when you’re eating a meal. Instead of drinking your soda throughout the day and letting the acid go at your teeth you can drink it while you eat.
- Drink water after the soda. This will help balance your mouth’s pH and rinses away remaining sugar.]
For children and individuals wearing braces its best to avoid lots of amounts of sugar. Children obviously have the higher risk of erosion in their enamel because their enamel is still developing. With braces, it is easier to stain your teeth when consuming too much pop or sugar.
Don’t Forget That We Can Help Too!
Following good habits when taking care of your teeth will go a long way when protecting yourself against tooth decay and erosion. Come see our staff and learn what we can do to help your smile improve and shine.