We have been warned from a young age that drinking too much soda leads to tooth decay. The negative impact soda has on your teeth is no secret, and in the post below, Dr. Wayne Sutton, a general and cosmetic dentistry expert in Rohnert Park, teaches us exactly why soda overconsumption leads to a slew of oral health issues.
The Offending Ingredients
There are hundreds of sodas on the market, but most of them share a few key ingredients. The following components comprise the trifecta that inflicts the most damage on your teeth:
- Sugar – whether derived from cane sugar or corn syrup, sugars feed the bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce the acids that slowly erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.
- Low pH – most sodas have a low pH, which translates to high acidity. Even diet sodas that claim not to contain sugar still have low pH values, which directly damages your teeth.
- Citric acid – not all sodas contain citric acid, but a large number of the most popular brands rely on it to boost flavor and as a preservative. Most acids promote tooth decay, but citric acid actually draws the calcium out of your teeth, making it even more damaging.
There are many alternatives to soda, but be careful before reaching for that orange juice or coconut water. Fruit and vegetable juices may seem like a healthy choice, but most of them contain high levels of natural sugars and citric acids. The best option for hydration is water. If regular H2O is too bland for your taste, try flavored or carbonated water. If it’s the caffeine in soda you crave, opt for a cup of black tea or coffee. Milk can even have a restorative effect on your oral health, supplying calcium and helping your saliva get back to a healthy pH level.
Enjoy in Moderation
If you don’t want to cut soda from your diet entirely, there are a few things you can do to maintain a healthy smile. Enjoy your soda with a meal, rather than between meals, and drink through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth. Rinse your mouth out with water or chase the soda with milk to reduce the acid’s lasting effects. And as always, remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day.
The cavities and tooth decay resulting from too much soda consumption are easily avoided. To keep your smile healthy, email or call (707) 585-2555 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wayne Sutton at Sonoma Smiles.
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(All photos of actual patients)