Sugary drinks can include regular and diet sodas, energy drinks, fitness waters, fruit drinks and sports drinks. These beverages are marketed to people of all ages. However, sugary drinks are considered unhealthy for your oral and overall health. There are little to no benefits to consuming sugary drinks.
Sugary Drinks And Their Impact On Health
Sugar-filled drinks can cause several issues to your overall health.
The more sugary beverages you consume each day, the more calories you add to your diet. Sugary drinks are empty calories and don’t make you feel full. There have been several studies linking obesity to soft drinks. In fact, New York City has banned the sale of many sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces in restaurants and other venues to help combat obesity.
Strong evidence indicates that sugary drinks contribute to the development of diabetes.
- Heart Disease
A study performed by the American Heart Association found a link to adults who drink an excessive amount of sweet beverages in one day have an increased risk of severe heart disease.
- Bone Health
Fizzy drinks like cola have high levels of phosphate. Consuming more phosphate than calcium can harm bone health. Fizzy drinks are typically devoid of calcium and other helpful nutrients.
How Sugar Causes Cavities And Tooth Decay
Your mouth is full of bacteria and becomes toxic when it is acidic. The enamel of a tooth has a surface full of pores. Harmful bacteria can get into the pores and cause tooth decay resulting in a cavity.
Sugar is the leading cause of cavities and tooth decay because it causes the bacteria to become acidic. Acidic bacteria create plaque which adheres to your teeth and keeps attacking the enamel until you brush your teeth.
This acidic mixture slowly eats away at enamel causing the pores to get bigger and allow more harmful bacteria in so your tooth enamel becomes thinner and weaker. Repeated consumption of sugar increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to the harmful acids which can cause further decay.
Children are more susceptible to tooth decay because their enamel is not fully developed and is less resistant to acid. Visiting your dental hygienist in Southbank regularly can help you identify oral health issues before they worsen.
How Soda Affects Your Tooth Erosion
Erosion begins when the sugar in soda converts to acid which takes only 20 seconds. The acid attacks your tooth enamel causing it to erode. These attacks can last about 20 minutes and that time starts over with every sip you take. These ongoing attacks weaken your tooth enamel. Sugar latches onto teeth and doesn’t go away until you brush your teeth.
Consistently sipping on a sugary soda exposes your teeth to the acidic sugar for a longer amount of time. The slow release gives the bad bacteria time to produce more acids and attack your teeth for longer. Diet sodas don’t have the harmful sugars like regular sodas, but they are very acidic. A diet coke has a pH level of 3.1, and battery acid is 1.0. Water has a pH level of 7.0. Drinking water can help to neutralize the acids in your mouth. Diet sodas cause erosion over time as well as other dental issues. Exposure to citric juices causes this same reaction.
How To Avoid This Damage
There are some ways to drink soda and prevent this damage. Drink sugary beverages in moderation, and don’t have more than one a day. Drink water during and after you are finished with your sugary drink. Flushing your mouth out with water helps to wash away remaining sugars and acids and prevents them from attacking your teeth.
Drink sugary beverages quickly. The longer it takes to sip a drink the more exposure your teeth have to acid attacks. Using a straw can help keep the acids away from your teeth. Do not drink these beverages before bed as the sugars will have all night to attack your teeth. Brushing immediately after you drink soda is not recommended because your teeth are vulnerable and weak from the acidic exposure. Waiting at least an hour to brush your teeth allows your teeth to recover and your enamel to reharden. Lastly, drinking beverages with no sugar - like water - is the best way to prevent damaging your smile.
Mint Dental Clinic is a dentist in Southbank, conveniently located just minutes from Elephant & Castle Tube in Lambeth. Along with dental treatments, they offer facial aesthetics treatments like Dermal Fillers and Botox in Southbank and nearby areas. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.