Soda consumption is not only associated with weight gain, but also cavities. In fact, a steady consumption of the said beverage is one of the main causes of tooth decay. Soda is loaded with sugar, which then combines with the bacteria in the mouth to form acid. Acid attacks follow, lasting about 20 minutes and starting every time you sip the beverage.
Acid attacks weaken and soften the enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to staining and decay. Kicking the habit is the best way to prevent damage, but this seems impossible for many. The good news is there are things you can do to lessen or prevent damage.
- Drink faster. If you take much time to finish your soda, you also give it more time to damage your teeth. It is best to drink it quickly, so that the sugar and acid will have less time to linger in your mouth. Scott W. Grant, DMD and other dentists in Meridian, Idaho note that this is not an excuse to drink as many as you like, though.
- Drink in moderation. If you can’t stop drinking soda, at least do so in moderation. This means no more than a single 12 oz. can daily. One soda a day is enough, as consuming more means wreaking more havoc on your teeth.
- Use a straw. This will help keep the sugars and acids away from your teeth. Be sure, however, not to swish the beverage inside your mouth. You should also use a straw when drinking carbonated drinks, fruit juices, and other sweetened and acidic beverages.
- Rinse your mouth with water. This will help wash away the remaining sugar in your mouth. This can also dilute acids, stopping dental erosion. It is best to replace one can of soda with water to prevent damage to your teeth.
- Wait before brushing. Brushing right after drinking soda is never a good idea. This is because brushing a recently attacked enamel can cause more damage and make your teeth more sensitive. It is best to wait at least 30 minutes to one hour.
Soft drinks are never a healthy choice, so it is always best to try to kick the habit or choose healthier alternatives. Don’t forget to schedule regular cleanings and checkups with your dentist to identify oral health problems before they worsen.