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Love Soda? 6 Rules You Should Follow for Drinking It (and Saving Your Teeth)

full glass of ice cold soda on a tableHave you ever paused to think about the beverages you drink every day? More than likely, you’re too slammed to notice how much water you’ve drunk or how many sweet drinks you’ve consumed throughout your busy day. About half of the American population drinks at least one sugary drink such as juice, sports drinks, or soda every day. While consuming beverages that are high in sugar is typically associated with weight gain, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, there’s one other big part of your body that suffers: your teeth!

If you know even just a little about dental hygiene, you know that sugar is no good for your teeth. That’s because it attacks your teeth, wearing down your smile and giving you a higher propensity for cavities. The sugars present in soft drinks interact with the bacteria in your mouth and form acid, which attacks your teeth. With each sip, your teeth are subjected to this damage, which lasts about 20 minutes. Sip soda all day? Then your teeth are constantly under attack. And yes, this goes for sugar-free soda, too!

The acid that forms in your mouth whenever you drink soft drinks begins eroding the tooth enamel. Soda in particular will attack the layer after the enamel – the dentin – and even composite fillings! This damage can make way for cavities and other issues. If you drink soda regularly and have poor oral hygiene, the results can be pretty scary.

Obviously, the best solution to protect your teeth is to quit drinking soda altogether, but that can be an awfully tall order for countless people! Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to protect your teeth and enjoying the occasional soda:

Drink in Moderation – If you must have a soda, moderation is key. Limit yourself to just one soda a day. Even cutting back to one or two sodas a week can help immensely!

Avoid Sipping – Okay, you don’t need to guzzle your drink, but if you’re going to have soda, try to have it as quickly as you can. Like we mentioned earlier, sipping on soda all day can be downright disastrous for your teeth. The less time the sugars and acids have to damage your teeth, the better!

Use a Straw – A straw can help keep those nasty acids and sugars far away from your teeth, so be sure to keep some on hand for whenever you want to enjoy a soda!

Rinse Your Mouth – It’s always a smart idea to rinse your mouth out with water whenever you’re done drinking soda. This helps wash away any remaining sugars and acids in your mouth. You can also alternate drinking water whenever you have a soda to help wash some of that acid away!

Don’t Brush Right Away – You might think that brushing your teeth right after you drink a soda is the best possible thing you can do. Step away from the toothbrush (for now)! Your teeth are vulnerable right after you drink a soda, and any friction against the enamel can do more harm than good. Just wait 30 to 60 minutes after you’re done savoring your soda before you brush your teeth!

Come See Us Regularly – Regular checkups and cleanings are always a good thing, especially if you love soft drinks! Our amazing dentists and dental hygienists will check out your teeth, ensure that they are clean and healthy, and address any problems they may see before they get worse.

Be sure to come in and see us by requesting your appointment with us! You can do so by calling (618) 288-9670 or by visiting us online at www.foleydentalgroup.com.