Anyone with the ability to read this has probably had a soda. Soda is hands-down the king of sugary drinks. Whether you love strawberry, grape, or even cola, there’s a brand of soda for you.
While you may enjoy the sugar rush or the fizzy feeling that tickles the back of your throat, sodas aren’t the easiest on your oral health. In fact, regularly drinking sodas wreaks havoc on your teeth.
How it’s Made
With nearly 50 percent of the population consuming at least one soda everyday, it’s safe to say they’re one of the most popular drinks on the planet. However, a lot of people who drink them are unaware of what they’re made of, making them vulnerable to a number of health conditions.
Sodas contain a lot of ingredients. Of those ingredients, very few of them are natural. For the most part, every soda has the same base ingredients with a few changes depending on the flavor.
Almost every soda begins with carbonated water. Carbonated water gives soda the bubbly texture we know and love. It also reduces the otherwise larger amount of necessary sugar.
Another popular soft drink ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. It’s more affordable than sucrose and has a similar taste to regular table sugar. After going through an enzymatic process, fructose combines with glucose and corn starch to sweeten soda.
Other ingredients include aspartame, caramel color, carbon dioxide, phosphoric and citric acids, and caffeine.
The first step in the soda making process is clarification. This step removes impurities or anything in the water that may impact the taste of the finished product. To adjust the pH balance to a more alkaline state, manufacturers usually add lime.
After the water is clarified, it’s filtered through finer particles like sand to capture the remaining impurities. The water is then sterilized and dechlorinated before mixing in the remaining ingredients.
Finally, the finished product is packaged and shipped to major distributors.
How Soda Affects Teeth
As you drink soda, the artificial sweeteners and acids erode your enamel. Due to the large amounts of sugar, your mouth combines with existing bacteria and create an even more acidic environment. Also, the more sips it takes you to consume a soda, the more damage it does to your teeth.
When left unattended, these acids cause cavities. Cavities are irreversible erosions that eventually create holes in your teeth. In severe cases, the decay responsible for cavities also reaches the deeper layers of your tooth, causing pain and sensitivity.
Proper Soda Drinking Hygiene
The easiest way to avoid soda-related damage altogether is by not drinking them. However, it’s harder for some people to abstain from drinking carbonated beverages. Health experts recommend drinking them in moderation as you gradually wean yourself.
Finish your soda quickly
Another suggestion is to drink your soda as fast possible. Everytime you drink a soda, your mouth creates bacteria for about twenty minutes. So, by taking your time to drink one, you’re constantly reintroducing your mouth to the acid responsible for ruining your teeth.
Drink your soda with a straw
If you regularly drink sodas, it’s also a good idea to drink them through straws. Drinking sugary beverages with a straw reduces the amount of contact with your teeth.
Gargle with water
If you have access to water, take a minute to gargle. Water helps neutralize the acid that otherwise causes enamel erosion and cavities.
How Overall Wellness Improves Oral Health
In addition to the previously mentioned tips, it’s important to maintain a healthy oral routine. Doing so not only assists with damage, it also strengthens your teeth so they aren’t as vulnerable to soda-related decay.
Whether you love sodas or not, you need to brush and floss your teeth at least twice everyday. It’s best to brush once when you wake up and once before you go to bed. This helps protect your teeth from the bacteria you accumulate while you sleep.
Keep in mind, there are a number of acids in soda that temporarily weaken your teeth. While you may be tempted to brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda, it’s not a good idea. Because your teeth are vulnerable, they experience more damage from the friction of your brush.
Also, don’t drink sodas before going to bed. Since you can’t brush your teeth immediately after drinking one, it’s best to avoid them beyond a certain hour.
It’s not enough to regularly brush and floss your teeth everyday. To keep your teeth healthy and powerful, you need a diet with foods that promote strong teeth.
Calcium-rich foods help keep your enamel healthy. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese are affordable ways to pack your diet with calcium. If you can’t consume dairy or animal products, there are ways to get calcium from your diet.
For instance, regularly eating leafy greens increases your calcium intake. Almonds, beans, tofu, and fortified cereals also have a good amount of calcium.
Vitamin D improves calcium absorption, so be sure to add foods like egg yolks, sardines, and salmon. You can also take vitamin D supplements everyday to help boost your calcium levels.
Most of all, be sure to drink adequate amounts of water everyday. Water helps neutralize the acidity of your mouth, which leads to less erosion. Water also contains minerals that help with the tooth remineralization process.
If a sugary drink addiction is the cause of regular soda consumption, try replacing sodas with a healthier option. For instance, you can drink sparkling water instead. Sparkling water actually provides hydration, making you less likely to overindulge in harmful beverages like soda.
Get regular dental checkups.
Identifying the cavities and erosion related to soda consumption may be hard to do on your own. That’s why it’s wise to visit your dentist for regular examinations and checkups. Your dentist will also notice any signs of early erosion and can fix them before they become cavities.
Taking care of your teeth is important. Not only do you use your teeth to digestion, healthy teeth improve your smile, which directly impacts your confidence. When you overindulge in sodas, your teeth become vulnerable to harmful decay and loss.
Soda is one of the most popular drinks in the world. With around fifty percent of the population consuming them daily, it’s hard to blame you if you find yourself enjoying one every now and again. However, when you drink them too often, you may end up with irreversible damage.
Even if you can’t quit soft drinks cold turkey, you can practice healthy habits like drinking in moderation, eating an enamel-friendly diet, and consuming adequate amounts of water help keep your teeth strong. If it helps, gradually replace your daily sodas with nutritious options like carbonated or infused water.
When it comes to oral hygiene, you must stay on a regimen. Brushing and flossing twice daily will protect against cavities. You also must regularly visit a dentist to avoid major damage.