By Ron Beasley, DDS
You have likely heard by now that sugary soda is bad your health. Besides contributing to issues like weight gain, heart disease and diabetes, soda is also detrimental to your teeth. But how exactly does it affect your smile?
- Weakens tooth enamel. Popular soft drinks contain acids that erode protective tooth enamel. Consider this: phosphoric acid, a chemical found in soft drinks, is also found in metal polish. A chemical that is used to clean metal certainly doesn’t belong on your teeth!
- Creates cavities. By wearing down the tooth’s protective barrier, soda also creates an opportunity for more serious dental issues to arise. The inner layers of your teeth become exposed and more susceptible to painful cavities.
- Stains your teeth. The dark coloring of many sodas also stains your teeth, making your smile appear yellow or brown. Make sure to rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth after drinking soda. Don’t brush too soon, though — soda softens your teeth’s enamel, and brushing immediately after drinking it can cause further damage. Wait at least 30 minutes or an hour before brushing your already-vulnerable teeth. If you must drink soda, consider using a straw to minimize the tooth-staining effects.
- Causes tooth sensitivity. When your teeth lose enamel, they are more likely to become sensitive to hot or cold foods and beverages. By eroding enamel and exposing deeper layers of the tooth, drinking soda can result tooth sensitivity and pain.
- Leads to decay. Harmful bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar in soda. Frequent consumption of sugar leads to a buildup of bacteria called plaque, which covers the teeth and creates acid that rots your teeth. The result of tooth decay is not only painful, but can also change the shape and color of your teeth over time.
The best option to avoid the damaging effects of soda on your smile is to stop drinking it. However, if you can’t kick the habit, be sure to drink it quickly and limit your consumption — sipping soda all day is a recipe for a dental disaster. You must also brush your teeth and floss twice per day, and visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning. Call us today to schedule an appointment!