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Soda and Your Teeth

Soda and Your Teeth

As any endodontist will tell you, soda, some fruit juices, and energy drinks can have significant detrimental effects on your oral health. And contrary to common beliefs, sugar is not the only cause for concern. The detrimental effects of soda come from three primary sources.

Sugar

Sugar can have significant effects on your teeth. Unlike the types of sugar found in things like bread, because the sugars of soda, juices, and energy drinks are so easy to break down, the process begins right as it enters your mouth. The sugar creates a coating around your teeth that is a feast for oral bacteria. As they consume the sugar, they discharge acids that eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Once enamel is lost, it can never be regained. The effect of this, as well as of the phosphoric acid (below), is a slow eating away of your enamel that can cause sensitivity of the teeth. Sensitivity is actually a bigger problem than decay, as treatment is more difficult.

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric acid, believe it or not, is present in many types of soda. Dentists themselves use this substance to remove enamel for some dental treatments, although at higher doses. Nevertheless, the effect is the same: a slow erosion of enamel from the teeth.

Staining

Because of the coating of sugar around the teeth that is created by drinking soda, the bacteria are able to cause the slow yellowing of the enamel.

Naturally the best solution to all of these problems are to avoid drinking soda. However, if you do drink them, use a straw when possible. But perhaps the best way to minimize the effects of such drinks is to drink them in one sitting. Drinking a can of soda slowly over the course of an hour does far more damage to the teeth than drinking the same volume in five minutes.

 

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