We all know soda is bad for us, but do you really know what it’s doing to your teeth? The sugar in these delicious carbonated drinks combines with bacteria in your mouth to form an acid that attacks tooth enamel. These attacks last for about 20 minutes, and start over every time you take another sip.
The trauma of these recurring attacks weakens the enamel on your teeth. Since children and teen’s enamel isn’t fully developed, they’re even more susceptible to damage caused by these attacks. Clearly, the first step you should take to avoid developing tooth decay is to limit your intake of sugary beverages, including soda, sports drinks, and sweetened teas and fruit juices. Making sure you are consistently taking good care of your teeth, brushing and flossing twice daily and visiting your dentist regularly, will also help to lower your risk of developing tooth decay.
But, most importantly, you should work toward choosing beverages that will actually help you stay hydrated. Since most soft drinks contain sugar and caffeine, they can actually dehydrate your body even more. And it’s not just soda that can have a negative impact on your oral health: sports drinks and sweetened beverages like lemonade can cause damage to tooth enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
Dehydration is the leading cause of mid-day fatigue. Keep that in mind next time you’re feeling tired at work or school – instead of reaching for a caffeinated beverage, go for some fresh water. Not only is it great for your body, it won’t damage your teeth like coffee and soda can.
How to Keep Your Oral Health on Track:
- Drink sugary beverages in moderation (no more than 12 ounces a day).
- Drink soda and juices with a straw.
- Swish water in your mouth after consuming sugary beverages to dilute the acid, if brushing your teeth is not an option.
- Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day.
- Sip on sugary beverages for a long period of time.
- Indulge with a can of soda before going to bed.
- Brush your teeth right after a meal; try waiting for at least an hour after eating or drinking.
- Use soda, juice, or sports drinks as a substitute for a balanced meal.