It’s a pretty obvious statement to say that drinking an excessive amount of sugary drinks can cause tooth decay and rot. “Duh!” most people would say, but a lot of people don’t realize that it takes a lot less than you think to really start having an impact on your oral health. Most people will say, “Well I don’t drink a gallon of soda/lemonade/iced tea/fruit punch a day, so I will be just fine!” The problem is, that’s now how it works!
There can be smaller things that start slowly corroding away at your teeth when you sip sugary beverages that will cause damage before you even know anything has happened. The downfalls of what sugary drinks can do to your teeth are plentiful, and they can also contribute to poor oral health of the gums and tongue as well.
Most sugary drinks slowly corrode at and eat away at your teeth over time. This means over years and sometimes decades. Every time you take a sip of a sugary drink it’s like a mini “acid attack” on the tooth. From the last sip you take of that drink each attack lasts about 20 minutes before enough sugar wears off from your saliva and the environment in your mouth till that acid is weak enough to quit attacking your tooth. The most common drinks that cause these acid attacks are many of the ones our society is obsessed with drinking, and many you may not think of. It’s not just sugary sodas and juices that cause these problems. It’s sports drinks, water alternatives, lemonades, fruit punches, iced teas, and many other drinks that we think of as “wiser alternatives” that are just as big of offenders as the sugary sodas and juices.
These drinks can rapidly eat through the enamel, and then they are able to further ruin the decayed and otherwise delicate tooth structure underneath the enamel. This contributes significantly to tooth decay and erosion, and in extreme cases where proper dental care is absent tooth loss.
It’s best to enjoy soft drinks only a few times a week if at all. If you are going to drink such drinks use a straw so the exposure to your teeth is more contained. When you are done with the drink rinse your mouth with tap water at a minimum, but preferably brush your teeth if you are able to do so. This helps keep the sugars from sitting on your teeth and attacking them over a longer period of time than necessary. Other times, instead drink just plain water that won’t harm/damage your teeth!
If you have any questions regarding this article contact us or call us 909-465-1016.
The Ramona Dentistry Team
“Where Family Comes First”