A soft drink by any other name may taste as sweet, but whether it’s called pop or cola or soda, this beverage is bad news for your teeth! A staple in most households today, soda is beloved by children, teenagers and adults alike. It’s present in school lunches, work break rooms, parties, and barbeques, and many choose to consume it with every meal. However, this tasty drink has proven to be extremely harmful to your body and – especially – to your teeth.

Tooth decay is the number one health problem caused by soda (followed by diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis). Some research indicates that it’s as corrosive as battery acid, and the damage begins as soon as it hits your teeth. High concentrations of sugar and phosphoric acid eat away at the enamel of your teeth, which is caused when the sugars combine with bacteria in your mouth to create acid, which destroys your teeth.

The sugar in soda remains on your tooth, since your saliva does not easily wash it away. This makes it different from sugar in other foods such as whole grain bread, which will break down more easily in the mouth. This results in an unsavory cycle, in which sugar from every sip you take remains on your teeth for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the phosphoric acid destroys the enamel on your teeth, leaving them susceptible to decay, erosion, and hypersensitivity.

Finally, your teeth begin to stain and acquire cavities. The layers of sugar that soda brings to your teeth create plaque, and provide food for the bacteria that live in your mouth. Over time, this layer becomes yellowed, making your teeth discolored and stained. No amount of brushing will remove this stain, and you will need to have your teeth treated by a dentist.

So how can you prevent all of this? The answer is simple: reduce or eliminate your consumption of sodas- even sugar-free ones, since they still have damaging acid! Substitute with other drinks like fresh fruit juice, milk, or – best of all – water. Consume citrus drinks in moderation due to their highly acidic nature, and avoid other sugary beverages such as sports drinks and energy drinks. If you occasionally treat yourself to soda, make sure that you use a straw to reduce its contact with your teeth. Then rinse your mouth with water to help wash the sugars from your teeth. Reduce cavities and avoid the erosion of tooth enamel by using toothpaste and mouthwash that has fluoride.

Managing your oral health is extremely important. Your body is an incredible thing, but it cannot regenerate teeth. Take good care of your teeth today and you can avoid problems and expensive treatments later on.

Ready for a check up on your teeth? Schedule an appointment today by calling: 562-434-6414.