According to Healthy Food America, sugary drinks—including soda—make up nearly half of all added sugars consumed by Americans. While most people know that soda and other sweets aren’t good for them, they may not realize the harm that soda can also have on their oral health.
How Does Soda Affect the Teeth?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that sugary drinks are the main source of added sugars in the American diet. Unfortunately for soda lovers, sugar is what reacts with bacteria in the mouth to form harmful acids. It will attack tooth enamel for about 20 minutes after drinking soda, which means brushing too soon afterward can actually cause more tooth damage. Although diet sodas may not expose the teeth to added sugars, they still contain corrosive acids like phosphoric acid and citric acid. These substances are just as harmful in softening the tooth enamel and can put soda drinkers at a higher risk of cavities and tooth decay.
Healthy Soda Alternatives
Limiting soda consumption doesn’t mean that the temptations of having a sugary, flavorful drink go away on their own. Some healthier alternatives that might help satisfy cravings include:
- Unsweetened hot or iced tea
- Naturally flavored soda water
- Fresh-squeezed juice or lemonade
- Coconut water
Can Damage From Soda Be Reduced?
Eliminating soda consumption completely isn’t the only solution. There are several ways to reduce the negative effects of drinking soda. Drinking soda in moderation (12 oz. of soda per day at most) and using a straw to reduce contact with the teeth can help reduce oral damage. Also, waiting 30-60 minutes to brush the teeth after having a soda will give the enamel time to recover.
One of the best ways to keep your teeth and enamel healthy is to schedule regular checkups and dental cleanings. Storts Family Dentistry is here to provide complete oral care to new and returning patients throughout Southern Oklahoma. To schedule an appointment at one of our three locations, call 580-223-6720 or contact us online. Periodontal disease prevention tips and tricks.