Who doesn’t love cracking open an ice cold soda or diet soda on a warm day? Let’s face it— soda is a multi-billion dollar industry with several major players, and it got that way because their products fulfill a want and also happen to taste really, really good.
That being said, we’re not writing today to debate if soda tastes good or not. We’re here to educate you on the impact that soda can have on your oral health over a period of several years.
Let’s get started.
Why soda is so bad for you
We could go into a complex, incredibly scientific explanation for you, but the reality is that it’s quite simple. Soda is bad for you because the sugar in soda combines with the bacteria in your mouth to form a perfect storm of acidity.
This acid repeatedly attacks your teeth with every single sip, which in turn leads to weakened tooth enamel, as well as yellow or brown staining of teeth. To put it simply, drinking too much soda can cause cavities and can also erode your tooth enamel.
Perhaps the worst aspect of these “soda attacks” is that they can have a potentially devastating impact on kid’s oral health because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed.
So do I need to stop drinking soda entirely?
In a perfect world that would be the case, but we know how difficult that may be for some people, especially if you are used to consuming several of them each and every day.
Here is what we recommend if you are going to drink soda:
- Sip soda through a straw to minimize the amount of sugar on your teeth
- Limit your soda consumption to one 12 oz can per day
- Drink plenty of water (6-10 glasses per day)
- Brush your teeth or use mouthwash as soon as possible after drinking soda
What are some healthy soda alternatives?
For many people, drinking soda throughout the day is nothing more than a nervous tic or a habit. The easiest way to stop drinking too much soda is to simply trade your soda for a bottle of water or start chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol.
Sports drinks are typically better for you than soda, but nevertheless they can still damage your teeth. So if you do drink common sports drinks, make sure to drink them in moderation.
If you are going to drink sodas and absolutely cannot kick the habit, Sprite is probably your best bet, as it is clear (so it won’t stain your teeth as badly), and also because it contains less sugar than most darker colas.
Related reading: How Energy Drinks Affect Your Teeth
What if I have damage from years of soda drinking?
If you know that your teeth aren’t what they should be, it’s time to see the dentist.
One thing we often hear from patients at Babylon Dental Care: “I didn’t want to come in for a cleaning because it has been several years, but your staff is so friendly and does not judge me for neglecting my teeth.”
If you know you’ve been drinking too much soda and it’s time to visit the dentist, we’d love to see you!
If you are searching for a new dentist on the South Shore of Long Island in or around the West Babylon or Patchogue areas, please give our practice nearest you a call today!
We have two locations (Babylon Dental Care at Great South Bay and Babylon Dental Care at Gateway Plaza) and would love to meet you and your family.