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Soda and its Effects on your Teeth

Soda and its Effects on your TeethSoda is considered one of the most significant causes of tooth decay and other dental problems in the United States. This problem is especially prominent with teenagers and children who substitute carbonated sugary drinks, like soda and energy drinks, for water throughout the day. Americans drink gallons of soda per person every year, which when combined with poor oral hygiene can result in devastating impacts to your teeth.

Sugar

One of the first ingredients often listed on soda packaging is sugar. In fact, a single can of regular soda can contain as much as 11 teaspoons of sugar. The problem with sugar involves its interaction with bacteria in the mouth. Throughout the day a film of sticky bacteria forms on your teeth called plaque. Plaque feeds on the sugar from soda and creates acid which breaks down your teeth. Since the sugar in soda is a simple sugar, the bacteria easily break it down before it enters your digestive tract, versus the sugar found in more complex carbohydrates that do not break down as easily in the mouth.

Phosphoric Acid

Along with the acid produced by bacterial plaque, soda contains its own acids in the form of phosphoric and citric acid. These acids are added both for flavor and as preservatives. Like the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth, the acid in soda breaks down and erodes the enamel on your teeth leading to the formation of cavities and other dental issues. Diet sodas also contain many of the same acids, resulting in similar serious oral health problems when abused.

Staining

Along with breaking down the teeth, soda discolors and stains the teeth’s surface. The mixture of chromogens and acid in sodas, even in light colored sodas, can result in serious staining over time. This acid can also make your teeth more prone to staining from other foods like teas and wine.

Remedy

The most obvious way to prevent the effects of soda on your teeth is to opt for other drinks like water, juice or milk. If you do drink soda, brush and floss your teeth after consuming to remove the plaque, sugar and acid from the surface of the teeth before damage can occur to the enamel. If a toothbrush is not available, flush your mouth with water to help remove any remaining sugars or acids from the drink until you can brush your teeth later.

When it comes to drinking any type of sugary drink, whether it be soda or other beverages like juice or energy drinks, avoidance or at least moderation is key. Regularly scheduled dental visits are also important for helping reduce the effects of sugar on your teeth, as well as to maintain overall dental health. Schedule an appointment with Dr. James Parsey, DDS to learn more about important ways you can maintain and protect your dental health.

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