Are you a soda drinker? The fizzy, refreshing nature of soda is very appealing – especially on a hot day. Unfortunately, despite the pleasant nature of these drinks, their ingredients are actually dangerous to oral health. Drinking soda regularly can increase your risk for developing tooth decay. Soda drinkers also are at risk for developing weakened teeth due to damaged tooth enamel. If you drink soda frequently, it is important that you understand the need to reduce your soda intake and visit our practice regularly for cleanings and checkups with our dentist so that you can protect your oral health.
Sugar and Soda
Unless it’s a diet variety, sodas contain sugar. Whether this sugar is in the form of corn syrup or cane sugar does not matter to bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria will feed on anything that contains sugar and sugar derivatives. The reason bacteria love sugar so much is due to the fact that sugar is the natural food source for bacteria. When we drink a soda, the sugar compounds left behind on our teeth, tongue, and roof of our mouth will send bacteria into a feeding frenzy. Well-fed bacteria will colonize, too. Once bacteria colonize, patients are at risk for developing plaque and tartar accumulation, especially if they do not practice proper oral hygiene.
Acid and Soda
The other harmful aspect of soda is the presence of acid. Soda makers utilize different acidic compounds as preservatives, formula stabilizers, and flavoring agents. Unfortunately, our teeth cannot handle consistent exposure to strong acid. The outer coating of our teeth, tooth enamel, is comprised of minerals. These minerals protect teeth from cavity-causing bacteria. Once tooth enamel breaks down, teeth are left vulnerable to decay.
Alternatives to Soda
Since soda can negatively affect our teeth, it is important that patients know there are abundant alternatives to this popular beverage. For instance, carbonated water, fruit-infused water, and unsweetened drinks like tea and coffee are suitable alternatives to soda. Lastly, the best thing a person can drink is plain water. Drinking water helps rinse away food and debris. It also dilutes acid.
If it’s time for a cleaning or checkup with our dentist, call us today to reserve an appointment.