Sugary Drinks and How They Can Affect Your Teeth

By Rachael Baer, Front Office

     I’ve never personally been a huge soda drinker, I would occasionally have one here and there.  As of two months ago, I stopped drinking soda completely as I am working hard to lose weight.  All those sugary, high calorie sodas just weren’t getting me anywhere!!  Since being off the soda, I also started to wonder how those drinks affected my pearly whites.  Working at a dentist office, I hear our doctors talk/stress the importance of good oral hygiene and you can count on them mentioning something about avoiding soda and sugar filled sports drinks.  I never really fully understood why so I took the time to educate myself, and now I want to educate you.  Here’s what I learned:

Turns out, those sodas and sports drinks really have a large impact on the enamel of your teeth (the thin outer layer of the tooth that facilitates the preservation of the structure of your tooth and prevent decay). These drinks, delicious as they may be, are the true villains to your oral health, as they can cause irreversible damage.  So how are soda/sports drinks so damaging you might ask?  Well, after drinking a soda, the sugars have a direct interaction with any bacteria in your mouth and form acid. The acid then goes on to attack your teeth.  Some of you might be saying to yourself, I drink diet soda.  The second ingredient in diet soda is phosphoric acid.  With each gulp you take, you’re starting a damaging response that last around 20 minutes. That’s just how easy it is. Sounds gross right? You could end up with a cavity from the erosion of enamel (as I talked  about earlier).

Alright, so now you know what soda does to your teeth, I’m hoping you are reading this and wondering what do I do next? How can I prevent damage to my teeth? Here are a few tips:

  1. STOP drinking the sugary drinks. There are many health benefits that come along with this, as I’ve experienced such as weight loss, clearer skin, and much more!

It’s not always easy to kick the habit to the curb, so here are a few more tips if you plan to continue drinking soda.

  1. Drink in moderation. (the more you drink, the longer the damage will continue for)
  2. Use a straw (this will help keep those acids we talked about away from your teeth)
  3. Rinse your mouth out with water after drinking a soda.
  4. Get regular dental checkups/cleanings so we can identify the problem early on and help you get back on track!