Soda Drinks and Your Teeth Health
Soft drinks can be a sweet temptation for all of us, but a diet containing too many of these sugary beverages can lead to unwanted complications such as tooth decay and serious dental problems.
The consumption of soda pop in the United States has been growing dramatically over the years, particularly among children and teens. A large percentage of young people drink at least one sugary beverage each day, and some consume far more than that. One study estimated one in every five children drink at least four servings every day. Another found some teenagers drank as many as 12 servings of soda in a day.
According to the American Dental Association, some types of non-diet soda can contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar in just one serving. A variety of published studies have shown a correlation between the heavy consumption of soft drinks containing sugar and the increased risk of dental decay. When sugars combine with bacteria in your mouth, they produce acid which can result in the breakdown in tooth enamel. The unwelcome result is tooth decay.
Some people choose diet soft drinks, believing sugar-free soda is a healthier alternative. However, both diet and non-diet sodas contain ingredients like citric acid and phosphoric acid. Over time, these acids cause plaque to form on your teeth. That plaque promotes the erosion of tooth enamel, leading cavities to develop. This erosion can spread into the bony tissue under the tooth enamel, possibly causing pain, sensitivity or even a nerve infection.
As our national consumption of soda grows, so does the risk for resulting dental problems. Our country’s annual intake of soft drinks grew from about 20 gallons per person in 1970 to 50 gallons per person in 2004. In addition, the average serving size of soda has increased over the years, from 6.5 ounces in a bottle in the 1950s to 12 ounces or more today. At some fast-food spots, you can even buy 64-ounce cups containing as much soda as five cans in just one serving.
One way for consumers to minimize the effects of soft drinks on their teeth is to limit their family’s soda consumption. Beecroft Orthdontics, an orthodontist specialist in Fredericksburg, also offers these tips to keep your mouth healthy:
- Choose water or milk instead of soda pop. Water refreshes, and it contains no sugar or acid to harm your teeth.
- If you drink soft drinks, consider washing your mouth out with water afterwards. That will help to rinse away some harmful sugars.
- Sip soft drinks from a straw to keep the liquid away from your teeth.
- Don’t drink sugary beverages at bedtime. The acid and sugar in soda can stay on your teeth and tongue, causing problems as you sleep.
- Use fluoride toothpaste for optimal dental care.
The best advice, of course, is to visit a dental professional regularly. As an Orthodontist for kids in King George, Dr. Matt Beecroft can help your family to catch potential problems before they become too serious. The Orthodontic FAQs section at our website offers additional tips about how to take care the best possible care of your teeth.
Beecroft Orthodontics, 10472 Georgetown Dr. Fredericksburg, Virginia
Soft Drinks are Lethal for your Teeth