Most people know that candy, cookies, cakes, and other sweets have a lot of sugar in them. But what they don’t necessarily take into consideration is what they drink. Beverages such as sports drinks, sodas, fruit juice, and energy drinks contain sugar and acids that are harmful to your teeth and overall health. Sugary beverages are one of the most common causes of tooth decay.
Sugar Converts to Acid in 20 Seconds
Acid? How can that be in your drink? It is basic chemistry. The sugar in the drink converts into acid in just 20 seconds. In that time frame, the acid from the sugar will begin attacking the protective coating of enamel on your teeth. Over time, the coating will break down allowing cavities to develop. If you have children and teenagers in your household they are more likely to develop cavities because the enamel on their teeth has not yet fully developed enough to protect them. You may think that diet soda would be a safe alternative, but it’s not. While diet sodas don’t have the harmful sugar you would find in a regular soda, diet soda has extremely high levels of acid.
How You Can Protect Your Teeth
What should you do to protect your teeth? If you have children, they should stick to drinking water or milk. Avoid fruit juices, soda, or sports drinks. If they complain about the lack of flavor, you can swirl in sugar-free Crystal Light into their glass of water. Limit their milk consumption to mealtimes and don’t put children to bed with a bottle or glass of milk. For adults, don’t drink more than one 12-ounce can of soda a day and use a straw to avoid getting too much sugar on your teeth. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking soda and make water a part of your daily routine. Make sure to protect your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. If you do have a sugary drink, wait for at least a half-hour before you brush your teeth because the acids in the beverage make your teeth weaker. Brushing your teeth right away can remove the softened enamel and produce wear.
Besides protecting your teeth from the sugar and acid in sugary drinks, by restricting consumption of sugary drinks you are helping your children and you avoid the complications of sugary beverages including weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Regular Dental Checkups are Important
Nothing ensures your teeth and gums are strong and healthy and able to resist the effects of sugar and acids than making sure you visit your dentist at Island Dental Associates for regular dental checkups. To make an appointment, call us at 516.271.0772 or click here to request an appointment.