Published on November 1, 2018, Updated on December 16, 2019
Do you enjoy drinking soda? While it may be tasty, these sugary drinks can lead to obesity, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, and tooth decay.
How Sugar Hurts
The sugar in carbonated and even juice beverages interacts with the bacteria in your mouth and forms acid, which then attacks your teeth. Both regular and sugar-free types also contain acids, and these attack too. Each swallow you take begins a harmful reaction that lasts about 20 minutes, and consistent consumption puts your mouth under constant attack.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men are more likely to drink sugar and sugary beverages than women. Boys in the teenage years drink the most, each which averages upwards from 273 calories per day. This number falls to 252 calories in the 20s and 30s.
- Erosion – This happens when the acids in this type of beverage impact the surface hardness of the tooth enamel. The enamel is the outermost protective layer. Drinking a soda reduces the surface hardness of the enamel.
- Cavities – They can also attack the next layer, dentin, which can lead to cavities. Cavities, or caries, develop over time in people who drink soft drinks regularly. Moreover, poor oral hygiene can do a lot of damage as well, particularly if you don’t brush after drinking one.
How to Prevent Damage
The obvious solution to prevent damage is to stop drinking pop altogether. But if it has been a habit, then all you need to do is minimize consumption. Here are some tips to help lessen the damaging effects:
- Drink quickly – the longer it stays in your mouth, the more time it has to cause damage to your dental health. The faster you consume it, the less time the sugar and acids can cause damage.
- Use a straw – This keeps the sugars and acids away from your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after drinking – Flush your mouth with the harmful effects of sugar and acid by rinsing your mouth after drinking pop. This will help the sugars and acids at a minimum and prevents from attacking.
- Do not brush immediately – A common misconception is to brush immediately after consuming one. However, this isn’t a good idea because the friction caused by the acids attacking the teeth can do more harm than good. Consider brushing for at least 30 up to 60 minutes after.
Get dental Cleanings Regularly
You won’t know how significant the damage is until you visit the dentist. Get regular checkups and dental exams to identify the problems before it gets worse. Find out about other treatments available to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Don’t drink more than one a day. Remember that it takes just one to do the damage.
These tips are best used in combination with your daily oral hygiene. With consistent brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, you can strengthen your enamel and prevent the damaging effects of drinking pop. And finally, prevention is better than cure. It’s better to avoid drinking them than treating the damage that will cause.