Sodas have been around since the mid-18th century or so, and unsurprisingly has found itself in almost every refrigerator in the states. They come in all kinds of different flavors, giving almost everyone a delicious taste that is hard to steer away from; especially if you have been drinking sodas since you were a child. When sodas are consumed in moderation, they typically have minimal health and dental effects, but anything more than enjoying these beverages in moderation can lead to many health and dental problems, which is why we are covering the risk you are putting your dental health in with heavy soda consumption.
Why Soda Disturbs Teeth
Tooth enamel is essential to have, as its main job is to protect our teeth from potentially harmful substances and bacteria. Saliva is used for not only helping process food pre-digestion, but it also serves as a cleanser and helps build and maintain the enamel of your teeth. Tooth enamel naturally wears down over time, but when we drink Soda, the acid found within the drink speeds this process up ten-fold. All of this allows bacteria to begin growing; especially when plaque starts to form on the enamel of your teeth.
The Acidity Of Soda
Soda contains acid such as phosphate and citric acid that weaken the tooth enamel, allowing the bacteria found in plaque and other substances to find its way into the pulp of your teeth through microscopic entrances. Sodas with a high amount of sugar are particularly worse, as sugar has a much easier time entering the tooth. After the acid has had a chance to damage the tooth enamel, you may start to notice transparency on the outside of your teeth. This damage may also cause extreme sensitivity to cold or hot substances, which is usually irreversible unless you have dental work to correct it, such as a crown.
Five Ways To Reduce Teeth Erosion
The obvious answer to this would be to completely avoid drinking Sodas; but if you love Sodas just as much as any other person does, then you may find that this is a hard decision to stick to. However, there are luckily a few things that you can do to prevent major damage, or at least minimize the damage that you do to your teeth.
1: Use A Straw
When used to drink soda, a straw will assist in pushing the beverage farther back inside of your mouth, lowering the amount of acid and sugar that would otherwise reach your teeth if consumed without a straw. This will not completely prevent erosion, but will undoubtedly help.
2: Sugar-Free Sodas
Although they are not a safe alternative in terms of enamel erosion, one thing that sugar-free sodas have the upper hand in is a lack of sugar. You will still fall victim to acid erosion, but when paired with a straw, this is probably one of the better options if you simply must have your fix of Soda for the day.
3: Mouth Rinsing
This should go without saying in the majority of cases, but a simple mouth rinse with a quality mouthwash will drastically reduce the damage done by the acid and sugar in the soda. This will not only improve overall dental health but will also lower the chances of major erosion. Just be sure that this is done shortly after the consumption of Soda to be most effective.
4: Finish Quickly
Many of us like to crack open an ice-cold soda and enjoy it over the span of a few hours. For example, this could be at a grill out or while watching a movie. This, however, is the complete opposite of what you would actually want to do, as sipping on Sodas over the span of hours will cause much more erosion versus finishing quickly; so try to finish within an hour at most to reduce enamel erosion.
5: Avoid Sodas Before Brushing Teeth
It may be a surprise, but we recommend that you wait at least an hour after finishing a Soda so that you do not damage your teeth, as the acid found in Sodas causes the enamel to weaken, causing the bristles to do a little too much cleaning, and could push acid and sugar farther in between the teeth. Plus, this will open up microscopic crevices in the teeth naturally covered with plaque, leading to a higher amount of acid entering through; particularly if all acid is not removed during brushing.