Thursday, August 27, 2015

Sugary Drinks and Your Teeth

Most of us are aware of what sugar-laden beverages can do to our waistline, but did you know they can be seriously damaging to your teeth?

If you or someone in your family has a daily soft drink or sports drink habit, it’s important to know how it could be affecting the health and appearance of you or your loved one’s teeth.

The sugar in soda and other sweet drinks combines with bacteria in your mouth and forms acid, which attacks your teeth. Even many diet or “sugar free” beverages contain high levels of acid, which can still erode your teeth without the presence of sugar.

Each time you take a sip of your drink, you’re exposing your teeth to an acid attack that lasts about 20 minutes. These repeated attacks work to weaken your tooth enamel and leave you vulnerable to decay. Individuals who tend to gradually sip at sugary drinks throughout the day can be more susceptible than “gulpers,” since they’re constantly bathing their teeth in damaging acids.

Besides setting yourself up for tooth decay, heavy consumption of sugary drinks can affect the appearance of your teeth, leading to discoloration, spots and translucent edges.

Of course, the best thing to do is cut way back or eliminate sweet or acidic beverages altogether, but here are a few other tips to help you limit the damage these drinks do to your teeth:

  • Drink through a straw to help divert the liquid away from your teeth.
  • Swish some water in your mouth after drinking soda to dilute the sugar and acid.
  • Work to replace most of your soft drinks with water – keep sugary drinks to just one 12 ounce serving per day.
  • Avoid sipping on soda over an extended period of time.
  • Don’t brush teeth immediately after drinking. Your saliva is your mouth’s natural defense shield--allow it to do its work for about an hour before brushing.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. This stimulates your saliva production and can help whisk away sugar and acids.
  • Check the sugar content of beverages and try to choose ones with lower amounts of sugar.
  • Keep in mind that many fruit juices and wines contain high levels of acid as well – so the best rule of thumb is to drink your favorite beverages in moderation.

No comments:

Post a Comment