With Texas summer in full force, it’s easy to cool down with sugary, carbonated drinks like sodas, juices and sport drinks.
According to the Pediatric Dental Health website, each American drinks more than 53 gallons of carbonated drinks every year, much of it in the form of soft drinks.
Additionally, some patients who are trying to avoid soda opt for another type of carbonated drink: various types of seltzer water, club soda, sparkling water, and carbonated mineral water.
Let’s start with the sugar.
Everyone knows that sugar is bad for our teeth.
Specifically, sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid within 30 seconds, which attacks the teeth. Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains its own acid, which also can damage teeth. Each attack lasts about 20 – 30 minutes and starts over with every sip of soda you take.
The reality of carbonated beverages.
The potential for dental erosion from carbonated drinks is due to the phosphoric acid, citric acid or carbonic acid. Any of these can erode tooth enamel. Over time the acid dissolves the calcium in your teeth leaving behind a mushy mess called a cavity.
The calcium in saliva works to remineralize teeth after exposure to small amounts of eroding acid, but with the increased consumption of carbonated beverages, it’s not enough.
Even diet soft drinks contain damaging acids. People often consume many soft drinks over the course of a day, which means tooth enamel is exposed to the acids over several hours.
Unfortunately, sparkling water is also very acidic due to the carbonation which can combine with the water to form carbonic acid.
Additionally, teeth with weakened enamel are also more susceptible to staining.
Tips for drinking carbonated beverages:
- Reduce or eliminate the beverage from your diet.
- Use a straw to prevent contact between the soda and your teeth.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda.
- Drink soda within a short period of time and then rinse, instead of sipping slowly over an extended period of time.
Dr. Larry Korenman of Loveable Smiles in Richardson has a refreshing solution to make water a bit less boring and more like a treat. Making your own infused water is practically calorie free and gives you a refreshing way to stay hydrated.
You can infuse water easily with fruit, vegetables, and herbs. This goes beyond the classic ubiquitous lemon slice in water. It’s one of those things where you can get super creative and think outside the bottle. The possibilities are endless! Add the fruit and herbs into a bottle of cool water. Let the water refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to infuse and then enjoy!
Loveable Smiles – 972-231-0585