Whether you order a soda or pop, or are loyal to your favorite brand, carbonated soft drinks are a staple of the American diet. But while losing slightly in popularity, that doesn’t mean we have given up on soda pop entirely. We’ve all heard of Cola Wars, but in the battle of soda vs. your teeth, who wins? The answer is encouraging; you do, if you are smart about your choices and more loyal to your dental health than you are to your favorite carbonated cola.
What Soda is, and Isn’t
Soda, pop, and cola are all used to describe a carbonated soft drink that is flavored with syrup, sugars and flavoring. Some are caffeinated. Some are all natural and use cane sugars, while others contain artificial flavors and colors. Some are low in calories, others aren’t. This is quite different than what some may call soda; also known as sparkling water and in some areas, seltzer. These clear sparkling sodas are free of color, flavor and sweeteners. Sparkling water that is flavored or has sugar added should be considered soda pop because they can impact your teeth. More on that in a moment.
Effects of Soda on Teeth
Bacteria thrive on the sweeteners and acids found in most soda pop. These bacteria will start to wear down the tooth’s protective tooth enamel. Eventually, cavities will develop, exposing the sensitive dentin layer underneath. If you want to avoid tooth decay, stay away sodas, as well as energy drinks, frappes and fruit juices. And don’t let diet soda or a “100% natural” label fool you – the acids and chemicals found in these soft drinks, like their sugary counterparts, are doing your teeth no favors.
Further, acidity affects your teeth and oral hygiene. That’s because the acid found in soda tends to dry out your mouth, voiding saliva production and allowing bacteria to live longer, rent free as it were. And don’t think brushing after drinking a soda will help; it’s always best to rinse with water before brushing – that way you aren’t grinding in the acids and sugars into your teeth.
Winning the War on Soda
If you love your soda, there are ways to still focus on dental health. Of course the best thing is to forfeit sodas – they can be void of nutritional value, loaded with chemicals and caffeine, and do not hydrate you. But if you are at battle with soda, here are some ways to come to a truce.
- Moderation. Treating yourself to a soda periodically won’t hurt you. As a matter of fact, instead of relying on soda to quench your thirst, treat it as you would any special treat to look forward to once in a while.
- Rinse your mouth with water; this will help wash acids and sugar away from damaging your teeth.
- Water is best. Cool, crisp water is best for you. It not only helps in the production of saliva, it also keeps you naturally hydrated and can even help curb your appetite while flushing away extra pounds.
- Get creative. Creating your own carbonated sodas is fun, affordable and healthy. In fact, there is no evidence that using CO2 machines, like SodaStream, to carbonate your drinks will harm your teeth. The problem lies with the flavorings you can use to create your specialty sodas. Instead, consider adding fresh fruit slices or mint to allow the flavors to seep through.
Dental Check-ups in Henderson
The best way to ensure lifelong healthy teeth and gums is to have regular check-ups. In Henderson, your family dentist should be Dr. Bui and Dr. Nguyen and their expert team at Dedicated Dental. Have your teeth checked by dentists who are committed to your health and well being. Call us at Dedicated Dental for the quality dental care you deserve. Call (702) 566-5509, or you can also book an appointment online to win the soda war battle.