Sipping is bad for your teeth. Sipping sugar-laden drinks like soda pop destroys tooth enamel.
I’m sure this is nothing new to anyone reading this blog post. Most people have already heard, read, or talked about the health problems associated with drinking large amounts of soda pop. Heavy consumption of it on a regular basis can cause diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, and dental caries.
And don’t think drinking juice is any better. Fruit juice, even 100 percent natural juice, is pure sugar and contains citric acid. It’s hard on your pancreas and tooth enamel, too.
How Sipping Soda Pop Leads to Tooth Decay
How does sipping soda pop and other sugary drinks cause tooth decay?
The sugar in soda pop (about 10 teaspoons of sugar) combines with bacteria in your mouth to form an acid. This acid attacks the enamel on your teeth and lasts about 20 minutes. Every sip of soda starts another acid attack for another 20 minutes. Inviting ongoing acid attacks weakens your tooth enamel and creates the perfect opportunity for developing cavities. Because their tooth enamel isn’t fully developed yet, kids and teens are more susceptible to tooth decay than adults are. Teeth don’t stand a chance with a soda pop sipping!
Think diet or sugar-free soda pop is a safe choice? It’s not. Diet and sugar-free soda pop are highly acidic, which also damages teeth. Sugar-free drinks contain high levels of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid, so it’s best to avoid them.
Prevent Tooth Decay and Other Health Problems
In addition to the proper care of your teeth, limit the amount of pop, carbonated beverages, sports drinks, sweet teas, fruit juices, and other sweetened liquids you consume. Be sure to include regular visits to Davis Dental and you’re well on your way in the prevention of tooth decay and other health problems. Even if you already have existing oral health problems, you can improve your condition by limiting your intake of sugar, brushing and flossing twice a day, and visiting our office regularly.
What Does “Limit the Amount” Really Mean?
How much is too much, right?
- Drink no more than one 12 oz can of soda a day
- Limit consumption of 100 percent juices to four to six ounces daily
- Restrict consumption of soda pop and other sugary drinks to occasionally
I’m not saying my patients should never drink soda pop. Let’s be real. I am encouraging substituting sugary and acidic carbonated beverages with water instead. Oh, and read labels for sugar content. Cutting sugary beverages out of your life on a daily basis will improve your health, your waistline, and your smile.
Guidelines for Proper Hydration
There are guidelines to staying hydrated properly. Reaching for a cold sugary drink is not one of them. Most soft drinks contain unreal amounts of sugar and caffeine which can actually speed up dehydration.
“But I drink sports drinks, Dr. Davis.” Do you? Drinking sports drinks may keep you hydrated, but how much sugar do they contain? And are you guzzling them or sipping them? Remember, sugar causes cavities and other health problems. Un-colas, lemonades, and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel leading to tooth decay.
Your best choices for proper hydration are plain water, black tea or coffee.
Staying properly hydrated is critical to overall health, so drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Water is good for your body and won’t damage your tooth enamel.
Side note: Dehydration or the lack of water is the number one trigger of daytime fatigue. The lack of water can also contribute to the onset of headaches. Next time you’re feeling sluggish or have a headache coming on, drink a tall glass of water.
And When You DO Drink Soda Pop On Occasion …
- Read the label. Avoid drinks that have acids listed in their ingredients.
- When you opt for a soda, choose root beer. Root beer dissolved the least amount of enamel when measured 14 days after consuming it.
- Don’t sip it!
- Use a straw. This keeps the sugar away from your teeth.
- Swish your mouth out with water immediately. Rinsing your mouth with after drinking a sugary beverage dilutes the acid and sugar.
- Avoid brushing your teeth between 30 minutes to an hour after drinking the beverage. This can spread the acids over your teeth before your saliva can bring your mouth back to a neutral pH.
Do you have other questions about how the effects of soda pop or other sugary drinks damages your teeth? We’ve got answers and more tips for maintaining a healthy smile. Give Davis Dental a call at (307) 634-3488 today.
Quality Dental Care for Your Whole Family
3116 Acacia Drive
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm