Are Sodas Worth the Cost of a Lot of Dental Care?
During the summer months especially, people are going to be drinking a lot of soda. It is used at meals, sipped on through the day, and many people drink some for snacks while watching TV. While many people have heard it is not good for teeth, few people understand what happens when you mix soda and teeth.
Why Sugar Can Cause Dental Decay
There are naturally more than 500 different types of bacteria in your mouth. Some of them are good, and some are bad. In a healthy mouth, these two types of bacteria are balanced. Introducing sugar into your mouth produces an imbalance and the bad bacteria multiply. As it does, it produces an acid that erodes the enamel on your teeth.
These same bacteria also cause gum disease. Sipping on sodas and other sweet drinks through the day only increases the number of bad bacteria, and this leads to more destruction of the enamel on your teeth. Soon, cavities will appear and your teeth will be stained.
Soda and Sugar
One of the reasons that soda is a problem is because sugar and tooth decay go together. The sugar in soda is sticky and it sticks to your teeth longer than some other foods. Because it sticks to your teeth, it enables bacteria to multiply and cause erosion to the enamel on your teeth.
Each can or bottle of soda has a lot of sugar in it. More than most people know about. A can of Coke contains about nine teaspoons of sugar. Clear sodas contain about the same amount, and root beer contains even more sugar than Coke.
Sodas and Acid
Sodas also contain a lot of acid in them. Each sip you take of soda causes an acid attack on your teeth for about 20 minutes. This acid is in addition to the acid created by the bad bacteria. Sipping on soda all day exposes your teeth to a very powerful acid – phosphoric acid. One study compared the acid in soda to battery acid. Citric acid is the most powerful type of acid used in soft drinks.
Diet soda often contains no table sugar, but it is not harmless either. It may contain another type of acid.
The Effects of Acid
The acid in soda will cause a noticeable difference in your teeth after a while. Because the enamel is getting thinner, if you continue to drink a lot of soda regularly, your teeth will start to yellow more. This is caused by less enamel covering the dentin, which is a darker yellow. The chewing surface of your teeth may be dented, uneven, and rounded. Less enamel can also make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold foods and drinks.
The acid removes some of the minerals in your teeth, making them weaker. It also creates tiny holes in the enamel of your teeth, giving the acid access to the dentin. It is these holes in your tooth’s enamel that makes it sensitive to certain foods or temperatures.
The Need for Saliva
The saliva in your mouth helps protect your mouth and teeth from the bad bacteria. When you have a good amount of it, it washes away the bacteria, acids, sugars, and helps destroy the bad bacteria. Sodas tend to dehydrate and can make your mouth dry. Many other drinks have this same effect.
A dry mouth promotes the growth of the wrong kind of bacteria. Some medications will also help to cause a dry mouth, and this can lead to gum disease.
Saliva also helps to repair damage to your teeth. Healthy eating provides the right minerals in your mouth and it can repair the enamel – but possibly not faster than it is destroyed if you drink a lot of soda.
Evidence of Cavities
One of the key effects of soda on teeth is that it will eventually cause cavities. Some symptoms are that you will have a toothache, brown or black stains on your teeth, pain in a tooth when you bite on something or you may even have a visible pit or hole in a tooth.
How to Prevent Cavities from Soda
Because of the acid in sodas, and the harm it does to the enamel on your teeth, it is not a good idea to brush your teeth right after drinking soda. The acid weakens the enamel, and brushing right away will cause some of it to be knocked loose with your toothbrush.
Drinking water and rinsing your mouth with it after drinking soda and sugary foods will help to remove some of the acid and sugar. You also do not want to sip soda all day. Instead, drink it rather quickly and follow it up by rinsing with water.
If you have dental decay from acidic drinks and need tooth decay treatment, MyChampion Dental clinic certified dental specialists’ can assist you. We perform a wide range of dental services, including treating the effects of soda on teeth. Call our Farmers’ branch office for more details