There’s no surprise that soda is one of the most popular drink choices of Americans. Nearly 50% of Americans consume soda daily. The good news is that consumption has repeatedly declined over the past 15 years. If you’re someone who consumes soda regularly, you might not know about the damage it causes to your teeth. Soda isn’t just filled with harmful sugar that can cause tooth decay, but it’s also highly acidic which can wear away your enamel and further damage your teeth.
As your dentist in Blue Bell, one of our pieces of advice to enhance your oral health is to reduce the damage of soda on your teeth. Follow our tips to reduce your soda consumption and enhance your oral health.
Tip #1: Cut Down
This is the most straightforward advice for protecting your teeth. The average American drinks 38.37 gallons of soda in a year. People in other countries drink much less. For example:
- Japan: 9 gallons
- Russia: 8 gallons
- South Korea: 7 gallons
- Italy: 13 gallons
Try substituting one daily soda with something else: a glass of water, tea, or even coffee–hopefully without sugar. If you absolutely need the carbonation, try sparkling water. Today, there are dozens of brands available that come in lots of delicious flavors. The only downside of sparkling water is that it’s still high in acid which can harm your enamel. Drinking it will at least help you cut down on sugar consumption.
Tip #2: Drink Soda With a Meal
Another way to reduce the damage that soda can cause to your teeth is to drink it with a meal. Sipping soda all afternoon exposes your teeth directly to the acid, without a corresponding increase in saliva to neutralize it. Drinking it with a meal encourages saliva production, partly neutralizes the acid, and encourages you to drink the soda more quickly, reducing the amount of time the acid stays on your teeth.
Tip #3: Don’t Think Diet Soda Will Save You
It’s true that diet soda doesn’t contain sugar that can feed oral bacteria, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for your teeth. In fact, it was recently revealed that diet soda may be as bad for your teeth as meth. Diet soda may not contain harmful sugar, but it’s still highly acidic which can weaken your enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to dental erosion and cavities.
Tip #4: Kick the Cola
Cola is the worst for your teeth. It’s one of the most acidic types of soda, and it contains dark artificial colors. To reduce the damage to your teeth, switch from colas to less acidic sodas, especially root beer, which is much less acidic. The most acidic soda on the market however is 7UP Cherry. The least acidic sodas include Mountain Dew, Mug Root Beer, Sierra Mist, Sprite, and Welch’s Grape Soda. Although these are all high in sugar content, at least their pH levels won’t harm your teeth.
Tip #5: Chase Your Soda Teeth with Water or Brush Your Teeth
Another good way to reduce the damage your soda habit is causing is to just drink some water after every soda. This will rinse the acid and sugar from your teeth. It won’t completely reverse the effects, but it will allow your mouth to restore the proper pH sooner and encourage the natural remineralization effects of saliva.
If possible, brush your teeth after drinking soda. Brushing your teeth will wash away the sugar and help your pH even sooner than simply rinsing with water would.
Bonus Tip: Make Regular Dental Visits in Blue Bell, PA
Another thing to remember is that making your regular dental visits allows your dentist to check for decay and assess the overall health of your mouth. If you’re making your regular checkups, we can detect and treat decay in its early stages. That means instead of giving you a root canal and a dental crown, we can solve your problem with a simple dental filling. This will save you from pain and from an expensive procedure down the line.
During your regular dental visits at our dental office in Blue Bell, PA, we can also let you know if your soda habit is causing serious damage and can tell you if you need to do even more to protect your teeth. If you’re overdue for your next dental appointment, please contact Dental Excellence of Blue Bell in Philadelphia at (610) 272-0828 for an appointment today.