Ever wondered how big of a deal your daily soda habit really is to your overall health? What about your smile? From a dental standpoint, the sugar in sodas is not the only threat your teeth face. When you regularly drink colas, even diet ones, your teeth’s enamel is being exposed to high levels of acidity. (Keep in mind that coffee and many dark teas are similarly acidic.) These substances can also be incredibly staining, potentially leading to dramatic discoloration that can cause teeth to look prematurely aged. So, even if you have no plans to ditch sodas entirely, now is a great time to actually consider your preventive dentists’ best tips for protecting your smile!
What’s the Big Deal?
First, most sodas are filled with high amounts of sugar, which the bacteria in the mouth feed upon. Therefore, the more sugar you consume on a regular basis, the more likely you are to struggle with dental problems including cavities, but also gum disease, which occurs when the gums become chronically inflamed because of bacteria.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can minimize the damage caused by sodas, and other beverages.
- First, it’s always best to opt for good, old-fashioned H20. Not only is water calorie and sugar-free, but it is also essential to one’s overall wellbeing, including the smile’s health.
- That said, if you are going to reach for a soda a straw can help to minimize how much contact your beverage has with your teeth.
- Instead of sipping on a soda over a long period of time, enjoy it with a meal, and then brush your teeth afterwards, if possible. If you can’t brush, consider chewing a sugar-free gum, which can help to gently clean the teeth.
- Drinking water after your soda can also help to gently clean teeth, at least until you’re able to brush. It also prevents dehydration and dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath and bacteria growth.
- Soda drinkers should be especially careful to brush and floss their teeth regularly, in order to remove more of the bacteria and sugars in their mouths.
- Finally, be sure to see the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, as needed. This is the best way to protect your smile long-term. Plus, if you’re troubled by dental stains the dentist can likely recommend a cosmetic treatment to brighten your smile.