Side Effects of Soda on Your Teeth

It may certainly feel refreshing to enjoy a chilled can of soda on a hot sunny day, but you should understand that soda can cause negative effects on your teeth and overall health for that matter. It can hurt you in so many ways, so it is better to avoid drinking soda at all costs. Packed with empty calories and sugar, it can lead to obesity and diabetes. Some studies have found that you increase your risk of having a heart attack by 48% with a single can of soda every day. It can be extremely damaging to your teeth; in fact, it starts damaging your teeth within 3 minutes of consumption.

What Does Soda Do to Your Teeth?

Sugar is the primary reason why you should avoid drinking soda. It also includes carbonation, which when combined with sugar leads to dental decay, enamel erosion, and ugly teeth stains. The bacteria present in your mouth clings to the sugar you ingest after drinking a can of soda. The bacteria thrive on that sugar and eventually lead to cavities, teeth decay, and rotting. This may also result in increased teeth sensitivity and gum disease, which eventually results in tooth loss. Some studies have also found that drinking soda may lead to calcium loss from your jaws and teeth, which in turn increases the risk of chipping and breakage of teeth.

What it means is soda's effect on teeth can be quite damaging. It first weakens the enamel and then allows the sugar to penetrate into the tooth where bacteria thrive on it and cause all sorts of dental problems. Your teeth will not look the same once the enamel is gone – they might look more yellow and a bit translucent around the edges. This can also make the chewing surface of the tooth feel more rounded, dented, or uneven. And of course, with the absence of the protective enamel layer, you are likely to feel a tingling sensation or pain when you drink cold or hot liquids.

While excessive sugar in soda is certainly going to cause serious dental problems, the acids in soda also play a role here. Every can of soda you drink contains preservatives and acids, which can erode tooth enamel at a fast rate. Regular consumption can lower the pH of saliva, which means that it will become a more feasible environment for bacteria to grow in your mouth and cling to the surface of the teeth. This leads to erosion and all sorts of dental problems.

What about Diet Soda?

Now you know soda's effect on teeth, but what about diet soda? Can you enjoy diet soda without having to worry about anything? This is not true actually. You may not find as much sugar in diet soda, but it still contains loads of acids and preservatives. Those acids can damage the surface of your teeth, and once the enamel is gone, anything you eat can prove damaging to your teeth. That means that diet soda is never a good alternative to regular soda; in fact, many experts believe that fruit juices can damage your teeth in the same fashion mainly because of high sugar content. Therefore, it is extremely important to know what you are consuming and how it is going to affect your teeth.

How to Prevent Damage from Soda

The best thing is to prevent soda’s effect on teeth is to stop drinking soda. However, if you find it difficult to kick this habit, you may want to try some tips to help lower your risk of damaging your teeth. For instance:

  • Limit your intake of soda as much as possible. Never have more than one soft drink a day. It will still damage your teeth, but is certainly better than drinking many.
  • Drink your soft drink quickly. It means that you should not take small sips and keep every sip in your mouth for a few seconds. The more time you take to finish your drink, the higher the risk of damaging your teeth. You will expose your teeth to sugars and acids for a short time if you drink quickly and this may limit the damage.
  • Drink with a straw to avoid exposing your teeth to acids and sugars.
  • Be sure to rinse your mouth using water soon after finishing your drink. Flushing your mouth may lower the risk of damaging your teeth, as it helps eliminate remaining acids and sugars from your mouth.
  • Do not brush immediately after drinking soda. This will cause more damage to already vulnerable teeth. The friction can cause serious damage, so it is better to wait at least half an hour after drinking soda to brush your teeth.
  • Do not go for soft drinks before going to bed. That high sugar content will mess up your sleep and will cause serious damage to your teeth.
  • Go for regular dental cleanings and checkups. Your dentist will tell you what you should do to avoid damaging your teeth or prevent any spread of cavities.