By: Michelle Tunquist
Soda is delicious and refreshing. In fact, it is a very popular drink. According to a Gallup poll done in 2012 nearly half of Americans drink soda every day, and according to the Associated Press in 2013 the average American drank 44 gallons of soda in one year. That’s a lot of soda. Despite its great taste, it is bad for your teeth.
What Makes Soda Bad?
There are three things that make soda a bad choice for your teeth. They are:
- Sugar. Sugar is not a great choice for healthy teeth. Bacteria eat sugar in your mouth and release an acid that causes tooth decay, also known as cavities. Lots of sugar consumption can lead to lots of cavities. While brushing can help, it is best not to consume a lot of sugar. Your teeth and the rest of your body will thank you.
- Phosphoric Acid. Worse than the sugar, is that soda includes phosphoric acid. This breaks down the enamel of your teeth and can cause quite a bit of problems. Your teeth enamel plays an important part in keeping your teeth healthy. While one soda won’t do a lot of damage, frequent consumption can wreak havoc on your teeth.
- Staining Power. Over time soda consumption can stain your teeth and contribute to plaque build up that is yellow in appearance.
What Does Soda do to Your Teeth?
Simply put, soda can erode your teeth and contribute to tooth decay. While sugar can lead to tooth decay, the real villain of soda is the acid. Acid can cause erosion of the enamel of your teeth. Over time erosion of the enamel can lead to:
- Sensitivity. Eroded enamel can cause sensitivity of the teeth. Cold and hot food and drinks can cause sensitivity and pain. It is difficult to enjoy some of your favorite foods if you can’t bear to eat anything hot or cold.
- Discoloration. Erosion and tooth decay can also lead to discolored teeth. No one wants to have yellow or discolored teeth. Too much soda can turn your white smile yellow.
- Cracking. Eventually erosion can lead to cracking because your enamel is weak. Not only does this affect the appearance of your smile, but it can also be painful and make eating difficult.
What Can You to Protect Your Teeth?
The best thing you can do for your teeth is to stop drinking soda. If that isn’t an option, then try the following:
- Use a Straw. A straw is a simple way to protect your teeth by preventing your teeth from coming into too much contact with the soda.
- Rinse with Water. After you drink a soda, rinse with water to remove acid from your teeth.
- Cut Back. At least drink less soda. You can still enjoy a soda sometimes, but not everyday.
- Drink Water. When you would normally grab a soda, drink water instead. Water is refreshing and is good for your teeth. If you like the bubbly aspect of soda, try a carbonated water.
- Diet Soda has Acid Too! Diet soda cuts down on sugar, but it still has acid. While it may help cut down on calories, it is still bad for your teeth. Instead of replacing soda with a diet soda, drink more water.
- Wait to Brush. Immediately brushing your teeth after consuming something with acid is abrasive on your teeth. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before brushing and rinse with water first.
Idaho Falls Dentistry
Reducing soda intake is a great way to keep your smile bright. For more tips on how to protect your teeth, make an appointment with our Idaho Falls family dentistry. Visit with our friendly dentists to learn the best way to keep your smile bright.