It’s a product that goes by many names; some call it pop, others “Soda” and still others simply know it by a well-known brand name. But basically a soda is a soda, and it has a ton of sugar in it. All of our expert dental groups strongly advocate the limiting or eliminating of these drinks from your diet, as they tend to cause serious oral health issues. Benco Dental experts as well as our other associates confirm just how really bad this food item really is for you.
One In Every Two People Drink Soft Drinks
Benco informed us that unfortunately, the average, every day soft drink is now a mainstream product in our diets, and it is the ONE product that offers substantial tooth decay. Consuming soft drinks is a real problem that affects people of all ages,including infants. It is the acids and sugars that feed the bacteria in the mouth and causes cavities and a softening of the tooth enamel. In some instances, the softening of the enamel caused by soda pop consumption, when paired with poor oral hygiene and poor habits or other problems may even lead to tooth loss.
Benco Dental experts also suggested that sugar-free sodas may be just as bad. Only about 15% of the people who drink sodas, consume sugar-free drinks, thinking that these are less harmful. But it is really almost the same thing because these diet drinks are acidic and it is this acid that causes problems with your oral health.
What About Diet Soda?
Benco team members tell us that diet soda contains phosphoric acid or other acids which make the drink so appetizing.It is the sugar in the soda that sticks to the grooves, pits and fissures in teeth. This is where the bacteria lives, and it thrives on this sugar. The bacteria consumes the sugars and gives off certain acids and enzymes that eat at tooth enamel. While the labels on many sodas may not be directly labeled with “sugar” as one of the main ingredients, soft drinks contain other forms of sugars and acids such as ascorbic acid and citric acid which are consumable but bad for your teeth. Consuming even these beverages which are labeled as DIET and not harmful for you, will cause cavities. “So,” Benco says, “it does not matter whether you choose the sugar filled beverage or the diet one.” If you do consume soda pop, your best bet, if you do decide to consume soft drinks is to rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth as soon as possible after you drink them, to reduce the chance of developing cavities.
Read The Labels
Limit your intake of beverages containing acids and sugars. Look for ingredients with the ending letters “ose”, such as sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc: these are sugars that go by other names. Although bacteria that destroy tooth structure normally use only sucrose, other sugars such as fructose can be broken down by the bacteria and made into a form they can use. Other names for sugars include monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides (carbohydrates). Note that sucralose, a sugar substitute has been shown in some studies not to contribute to the formation of tooth decay.
Limit Your Carbohydrate Consumption
The idea is to limit soft drinks and eat healthier say Benco dentists. There is a significant amount of evidence showing that people who eat healthy foods, control portions, and commit to a regular exercise regimen feel better and live longer. Between-meal snacks should include fruits and vegetables whenever possible. However, be sure to brush your teeth, or at the very least, rinse your mouth with water after any snack, but especially after one that contains soda pop. This will control acid levels that may contribute to dental caries (tooth decay).
Use Alternative Healthy Snacks
Instead of reaching for that soda pop, choose instead a healthy fruit or vegetable. Healthy alternatives are good for your teeth and won’t soften the enamel. Try carrots or celery sticks, or fruits like apples whenever possible.
We Have to Stop the Soft Drink Binge
We seem to be drinking excessive quantities of soda, and the U.S. consumption of this beverage does not appear to be going down, despite the awareness that associations like the ADA and Healt department are making. The drinking of Sodas in the U.S. in the is on the rise, and it hits all demographic groups; but is especially worse among younger generations. The issue is getting worse and we need to do something about it say the experts at Benco Dental.
Are School Age Children Drinking More Sodas?
Some dental experts like those at Benco, suggest that there can be as many as one out of every two children who drink at least one soft drink a day, and there may be as many as one for every five young people who drink as many as 5 soft drinks a day. Worse yet, there are some kids who drink more than 5 cans of pop per day.
Some dental experts like those at Benco, suggest that the numbers could be as high as one in two young children drink at least one soft drink a day. Worse, they say that it could be as many as one in five kids who consumes a minimum of four soft drinks a day. And in a few cases, some teens drink as much as 10 cans of soda a day.
Children and adolescents aren’t the only people that risk this tooth enamel loss, adults with a problem of long-term consumption of soft drinks seem to have serious problems with tooth enamel. It is a problem that is worsening and as people live longer, we may see the problem worsening.
What to Do
Children, adolescents and adults can reduce their soft drink consumption. They can also pay more attention to their oral care habits. Here are some tips that can help you limit your child’s intake of soda:
- Substitute for healthy alternatives: choose healthy drinks like water, milk which has additional benefits of adding calcium and fighting bacteria. You can even drink juice so long as it does not have added sugar. Children learn by example, so by ingesting these healthy alternatives yourself, you can teach your kids to do the same.
- Rinse and brush your teeth after drinking a soft drink: Flush your mouth with water to remove bacteria and acids. leaving these vestiges of the drink in your mouth prolongs the exposure of tooth enamel to acids.