Sugary drinks such as soft drinks, fruit juices, energy drinks can cause a host of dental issues ranging from cavities, gum diseases, rotting of teeth and bad breath. As the enamel becomes weaker due to the acid, it increases the likelihood of developing cavities.
What Drinks Harm Us the Most?
Non-Cola soft drinks, energy/sports drinks and commercial lemonade are the most harmful towards dental enamel. Non-Cola drinks and sports beverages can cause up to 11 times greater damage to your teeth than cola-based drinks. Energy drinks and bottled lemonades can also cause significant damage. Bottled tea, water and cola-based drinks are comparatively safer but have also been proven to be harmful to our teeth.
Alcoholic beverages such as beer are rich in sugar which can also cause severe damage to the enamel. Water and coffee do not have any effect on teeth, and usually increase saliva, which helps protect the teeth from these bacterias.
Dental erosion also depends on a lot of other factors such as irresponsible diet, lifestyle, and genetics.
How Does the Damage Occur?
- The bacteria in our mouths use sugar from your drinks and produce acid that dissolves teeth.
- Drinking artificially sweetened drinks regularly leads to accumulation of sugar in your mouth.
- Sugar-based drinks like soft drinks, sports drinks, fruit drinks also have acid which leads to tooth erosion.
- Loss of the enamel leads to cavities and exposes the nerves leading to sensitive and painful teeth.
- Each time you drink the sugar and acid lasts in your mouth for around 20 minutes.
How Can I Avoid Dental Decay?
The most effective way to reduce tooth decay and cavities is by reducing the consumption of sugary drinks and choosing more healthy options such as water or milk. Natural fruit juices can also be a great alternative, juices with fruit content higher than 10% are not harmful to your teeth.
Another effective way to reduce dental decay includes rinsing your mouth repeatedly with water to flush out all the remnant sugar after ingestion. Use fluoride-rich toothpaste to brush your teeth. It helps clean all the leftover sugar. Fluorides also help reduce cavities and strengthen teeth enamel.
Maintain a certain level of moderation as you drink sugar-based beverages. Using straws can expose smaller portions of your teeth to the drink. Sipping a sugar-based drink slowly significantly increases the amount of damage caused by the acid. Drinking sugary beverages right before bed should be avoided as the liquid coats your teeth with the sugar causing more damage. Beverages that do not contain sugar are the best for your teeth, this includes water and milk. Diet or “sugar-free” soft drinks still contain the acid that is harmful to your teeth and is not recommended for daily consumption.
Have more questions, contact us at Downtown Whitby Dentistry.