We all think we know better than the dentist does. We like our sodas, even the diet sodas. But is our dental health, in addition to our overall health, worth the numerous sodas we like to drink?
The calories in a single can of soda are empty. Despite how much we like the taste, or the tickle of the carbonation on our noses, it has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. According to doctors, a single can of soda per day can increase your chances of diabetes, and having a heart attack.
We have all heard that certain sodas can be used to clean our car battery and the inside of a toilet. Imagine what that corrosive liquid is doing to your teeth! In less time than it takes to drink that soda, this damage is happening in your mouth. The staining effect of the soda, the large amount of sugar, and the phosphoric acid in the soda combines to cause this corrosive damage.
Phosphoric acid is something that we should avoid on general principle that it is bad for us. This is the same chemical that your dentist uses to clean your enamel, or scour it. The strength your dentist uses is not near the equivalent of what is in the soda. However, since it causes erosion, and is more harmful than decay, and it also causes hypersensitivity, it is good to avoid as much as possible. Your dentist knows the appropriate amount to use. You should never think you know better than your dentist, and that even a little bit more won’t be harmful.
Sugar causes problems by eating the bacteria on your teeth caused by the acid in the soda. Then it creates more acid, which causes tooth decay. Your mouth easily breaks down the sugar in the sodas, which causes the decay to occur more quickly. It is a never ending cycle and one that we struggle with every day.
The last thing is the staining effect of the soda. This is in addition to the cavities it can cause. Plaque is created by the layers of sugar that soda adds to your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth feeds off this plaque and sugar. This layer of sugar can turn yellow over time, and fortunately it can be treated by your dentist.
Obviously, if you want to avoid these issues, you should avoid the soda. There are many other drinks you can have instead of soda. Try water, milk, or fresh fruit juices. You will have to avoid high citric acid as well, so the best drink for you is most likely water. Energy drinks and power drinks have just as much sugar, or more, than a soda does. They should be avoided as well, or you are just repeating the cycle of decay.
If you just have to have that soda, because we all know how hard it is to stop drinking sodas abruptly, use a straw. The use of a straw will prevent direct contact with your teeth. You can also rinse your mouth with water to help reduce the sugar. In addition, and more importantly, you should use toothpaste and mouthwash to remove the sugar and acid. There are some gums that claim to be able to clean your mouth after food and drink. Use these after a discussion with your dentist. He can help you with determining the best plan of care for your teeth.
If you can keep your soda intake to a minimum, or at least take measures to maintain your dental health, you will be able to avoid tooth decay.