Matthew Vogel, DMD
While soft drinks have been apart of American culture since the early 19th century, the country’s favorite fizzy beverages have suffered some serious criticism in recent years. Health experts have warned of the dangers presented to the health of the average soda drinker, as a number of studies have found strong links between soda consumption and an increased risk of a range of health problems, including gum disease, diabetes and heart disease. As one of the best dentist Gresham OR has, Dr. Ries and his team want to let you know about this newsworthy (and tasty) topic.
The negative publicity that soda has received has caused the entire carbonated soft drink industry to experience a steady decrease in sales over the last nine years. The sale of diet beverages has dropped more precipitately than their sugary counterparts, fueled primarily by growing concerns over links between artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and cancer.
Despite this depressing outlook, soft drink manufacturers have no plans on giving up, and a new shift towards midcalorie soft drinks – considered beverages that contain approximately 60 to 100 calories per can, and four to six teaspoons of sugar – is a trend in the making. The same size of a regular soft drink contains up to 11 or more teaspoons of sugar or high fructose corn syrup and between 140 to 150 calories.
But just because soft drink manufacturers are trying to market varieties that do less damage to the waistline, are these beverages any better for the health of your teeth? Lets take a look.
Soda features a two-pronged attack when it comes to affecting your oral health. Not only does the high sugar content the beverages contain cause adverse problems, but sodas also have a high acidity, which presents further problems for your teeth’s enamel.
Your mouth is filled with a sticky biofilm known as plaque, which feeds off the sugars you consume to produce acids that slowly erode away at tooth enamel. The more sugar in your diet, the more fuel plaque has to produce acid. The sugars found in soda bathe your teeth when consumed and provide plaque in all corners of your mouth a smorgasbord of fuel in which to do damage.
The high acidity of soft drinks further compounds the damage the beverage can do to your oral health. When the pH level in your mouth changes to a high acidity, your tooth enamel actually becomes weaker and more prone to damage. Couple this increased susceptibility with the acid produced by plaque whenever you drink soda, and your teeth take quite the beating every time you sip on your favorite soda.
While these new midcalorie brands will feature less sugar than their regular counterparts, your teeth still face an increased risk of decay due to the combination of the sugar and acidity these beverages contain.
As with most items, you can still drink soda if done so in moderation. Sitting at your desk sipping on soda all day won’t do many favors to either your teeth or waistline. However, if you enjoy the occasional beverage, you can probably do so with much risk to either.
Don’t try brushing your teeth immediately after drinking a soda, as the acidity in the beverage will leave your tooth enamel soft and prone to damage from brushing. Instead, rinse your mouth with water to help remove excess sugar and plaque from your mouth and to help bring your pH levels back to normal.