Soda, pop, soft drink … no matter what term you use to describe the flavored fizzy beverage many of us drink, the results can be hazardous to teeth. The occasional indulgence is safe for most, but millions of people drink soda more often. Your dentist can explain how much damage you could be doing to your teeth such as:
Decay – A cavity occurs when the protective surface of a tooth, the dental enamel, has been breached. Many people believe the sugar content of soda is the primary contributor to decay mistakenly believing that they can drink as much diet soda as they want without concern. However, while sugar can be a negative factor, the bigger offender is the acidic content in soda.
Regular soda consumption allows this highly acidic beverage to wear away dental enamel providing opportunity for dental decay. Always follow soda consumption with a water rinse; if that is not practical, chewing sugar free gum will induce saliva production. Saliva is considered nature’s mouthwash so acids will be flushed away; but always chew sugar free gum.
Stain – Soda consumption can result in dental stain. Many people know that coffee, tea, and red wine can stain teeth, but soda can stain as well.
If you are going to imbibe in a soft drink, there are a couple of tips that you should consider that might help to limit the amount of acid that will impact teeth:
Use a straw – Sipping with a straw allows most of the beverage to bypass teeth limiting exposure to dental enamel.
Don’t swish – Holding the beverage in your mouth is not a good idea; swallow right away.
Brush and floss – Just not right away. The acidic content in soda softens dental enamel so brushing right away can actually do more harm. Wait at least one hour before brushing teeth following soda consumption.
Daily oral maintenance – Brush with a fluoridated tooth paste to help keep dental enamel strong.
Make sure you make and keep those dental appointments every six months. Your dentist or hygienist will remove plaque that has built up on teeth since your previous appointment; polish your teeth so they will look their best; and perform a dental exam so any problems can be treated before they have a chance to escalate.
If it’s time to schedule your next dental exam and professional cleaning, contact the office of Dr. Lori Logan at 281-256-6866.