Soda isn’t just a summer drink for kids. They drink it year-round and while it can be refreshing, it can also be quite problematic. The prevalence of mobile phones and game consoles are leading to them being far less active than they were in the past.
It’s not just kids who are drinking soda, though. Other family members, including parents, are also having it as a main source of hydration. Besides it affecting their waistlines, which can lead to diabetes, it can hurt their teeth.
Here are some of the ways that soda can affect oral health.
The first thing to note is that regular soda, which contains a lot of sugar, is the main cause of the problem. Yes, a not-insignificant amount of people do have sugar-free diet cola, which can cause some problems of their own, but the regular soda is the main focus.
It all begins right when the person brings the bottle or can to their lips and takes that first gulp. The soda immediately produces enzymes that interact with the saliva in their mouth. That causes acid to attack the outer part of the teeth – the enamel.
The attack is not a brief one, either. Each swallow causes a 20-minute siege… and some people like to drink soda all day. Thus, there is a constant bombardment on one’s oral health.
Past the Enamel
The enamel is the first line of defense. Once that has been breached, the acid will attack the dentin and cause cavities… even if there is already another filling in its place. It’s important to stay vigilant.
How to Treat It
Conventional thinking might point to one’s immediately brushing their teeth after drinking the soda. While it might sound practical in theory – the fluoride and water would get rid of the acid, right – the soda will leave the teeth and enamel in a sensitive state, which can lead to irritation from the brushing. It’s better to wait to brush at one’s regular time.
Instead, what one can do immediately is rinse out their mouth with water. That will remove some of the acid. It’s not a complete solution but it can offer some form of protection in a pinch.
Besides regularly brushing and flossing their teeth, people can also drink their soda through a straw. Drinking it in moderation or alternating a bottled water in between.
Regular dental check-ups can also help prevent cavities or other ill-effects of soda from progressing far, if at all.
Dr. Barry LeJeune has many years of experience working with families. He and his staff at LeJeune Dentistry have plenty of tips for everyone in their clan about oral health. Give them a call at 757-827-9114.