Effects of carbonated drinks and soda on Teeth & Oral Health

Soda is a marketed as a fun drink to sip on, a harmless beverage, fit for consumption, by anyone, even little children. It’s served at various social gatherings. But did you know that when you choose to ingest this seemingly harmless refreshment, you also take in a whole lot of other things that may cause lasting damage to your health especially your teeth? Let’s dive a little deeper and find out about the damaging effects that soda can have on your dental health.

Soda, cold-drink or soft drink, whatever you may call it; it’s the same stuff available in diverse flavours and in various different packaging. The composition of soda is highly chemical. Soda companies may claim that their beverages contain real fruit extracts, but most of the time it’s just artificial flavours andcolours which resemble fruits. One of the main ingredients in soda is sugar. One can of soda contains around 40 gms of sugar. Sugar is not just bad for your waistline, it can wreak havoc on your teeth as well.

The sugars in soda interact with the bacteria inside your mouth and form acid. Acid is bad for teeth. Sodas also contain a lot of acids on their own. Phosphoric acid and citric acid, are two major ingredients of soda. The former increases it’s shelf life and gives it that characteristic fizz. The latter provides the tang. Both of these are culprits when it comes to damaging teeth. Acids first attack the outer layer of the teeth, which is the enamel. The enamel is the protective covering which guards the teeth. Loss of enamel cause erosion and the nerve endings at the root of the teeth to be exposed.

Are you familiar with that sharp pain which you sometimes feel in your teeth when you consume something too cold or hot? It’s a condition commonly known as sensitive teeth, which occurs when your teeth undergo erosion. Fizzy drinks also attack the layer beneath the enamel. This layer, known as dentin, can wear out and cause cavities.

Cavities are the primary cause of tooth decay. A single cavity could eventually lead to the loss of teeth. So does that mean that you have to completely give up on soda to save your teeth? Well, not exactly. There are steps that you take to keep the damage to a minimum while occasionally indulging yourself.

A glass of soda or two, once in a while won’t harm you a great deal if you take proper care of your teeth. Drink soda in moderation. Stick to a glass or around 200ml per day. Guzzling down soda may seem like a bad idea, but drinking your soda faster is an effective way to to keep the sugars and acid from creating a lasting impact on your dental health.

If you are the kind of person who likes to sip your drinks, then we would strongly recommend choosing an alternative beverage or just sticking to plain water. You can also choose to use a straw, to minimize the contact of soda with your teeth. But as straws are bad for the environment, we would advise against that, unless you insist on using a metal or paper straw. Rinsing your mouth afterwards is also another simple measure that you can apply. Or just sip on some water simultaneously to wash away the sugar particles.

One of the most common advice that many of us have learned to abide by is brushing our teeth twice a day. But soda drinkers should be a little more careful about frequent brushing. Teeth which have come in contact with the chemicals present in soft beverages can wear down further when subjected to vigorous brushing. Therefore our advice would be to wait atleast an hour before brushing, after consuming soda. Soda contains huge quantities of caffeine and therefore having a can before bedtime can keep you up all night, which besides being harmful to your general health can also cause your teeth to weaken.

The best way to stop soda from damaging your teeth is to give it up entirely. But that’s easier said than done when it’s almost like an addiction for many. Given its easy availability, it’s not something that can be avoided easily. Finding a substitute for soda is one way to go about it. Try to make a switch to iced- tea, lemonade or fresh fruit juices which are all healthier options. Fermented tea or Kombucha is also another great substitute. It has the fizziness that may satisfy soda lovers and convince them to switch. Making the transition is a gradual process. But taking that step will ultimately benefit your health and that of your teeth.

At Apollo Dental you will find multiple services that can help restore teeth damaged by soda to their former state. Schedule an appointment at one of our many centres and get timely care for your teeth. Our services range from simple clean-ups to more intense procedures like teeth implantation. Our expert dental specialists will also advise you on how to care for your teeth at home. It’s never too late to attain perfect dental health, with Apollo Dental.