Soft drinks and fruit juices are very popular beverage choices, but they're also some of the worst drink choices you can make when it comes to your dental health. Heavy soda and juice consumption is linked to greater incidents of cavities and tooth decay.
How Sugar Damages Teeth
Sweetened soft drinks often contain sugar, which can do a lot of damage to your teeth. Bacteria in your mouth eat the sugar that sticks around from food and drinks. These bacteria are always in your mouth, even if you've just brushed your teeth.
The process of the bacteria eating the sugar makes an acid that damages the teeth and leads to erosion, tooth decay, and cavities.
Ways to Minimize the Damage
It's best to cut soft drinks out of your diet entirely, but if that isn't realistic for you, there are other things you can do to minimize the damage and keep your teeth as healthy as possible.
If you aren't willing to completely quit drinking soft drinks, work to minimize how much of them you consume. If you drink multiple soft drinks a day, replace at least some of them with water, unsweetened tea, or milk.
Don't let soda and other acidic drinks such as fruit juices sit on your teeth any longer than necessary. It's best to drink through a straw if possible, but if you can't use a straw, take quick drinks and don't sip at a sweetened drink for long.
Brush your teeth after every sweet drink you consume, if possible. Rinse your mouth out by swishing water over your teeth to dilute the sugar and acid and spitting it out if you can't brush your teeth after you finish a soft drink. Chewing sugar-free gum can also help keep your mouth as clean as possible until you're able to brush and floss properly.
Sugar-Free Soft Drinks
Switching to sugar-free beverages may not be the answer if you want to protect your teeth as well as possible. Diet sodas and other soft drinks still cause tooth erosion. Even sugar-free beverages eat away at teeth nearly as fast and as much as drinks sweetened with sugar. 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugar isn't a good substitute for juice drinks that have sugar added either; citrus juices, in particular, can be very hard on teeth.
If you are looking for more help with dental services for you and your family, contact a provider like Thomas Krull, DDS, PC to learn more.