Soda – What does it do to your teeth?

Soda – What does it do to your teeth

Soda has two components, sugar and acid. They are a double disaster to your teeth. While the sugar feeds the oral bacteria to produce more acid that attacks the tooth, the acid already present in the soda join in too. They attack the enamel with more vigor only to cause erosion of the enamel layer. The erosion of enamel layer actively promotes tooth cavity formation and subsequently results in tooth decay. Let us delve into the detail

Composition of Soda

Soda or generally any soft beverages like cola contains carbonated water, high amount of sugar or artificial sweetener, food coloring agents (mostly artificial coloring), phosphoric acid (yes we are not kidding), some flavors (natural or artificial), caffeine in some cases and preservatives like sodium benzoate in few sodas.

The natural sugar used can be high fructose corn syrup or sucrose. If artificial sweetener has been used, it would most probably be aspartame.

Erosion of Enamel and Dentin

When the oral bacteria comes in contact with the soda consumed, they immediately consume the sugar in the soda and begin to produce acid as a byproduct. This acid erodes the enamel layer of the teeth. If the acid content is more, the acid does not stop there. They also begin eroding the dentin layer of the teeth. Over a period of time, the inner layers of the teeth are exposed due to this erosion and they make the teeth sensitive. They also begin to cause tooth pain.

Erosion of Gum Layer

If there is an erosion of gum layer, the acid present in the soda does more damage to the gum line. So more teeth layer just above the teeth is exposed which can lead to instability of the teeth.

Cavities in the Teeth

When the inner layer of the teeth are affected and face erosion, they begin to decay. This can lead to dental cavities or carries. The acid in the soda can also begin eroding the composite fillings thereby making the teeth vulnerable. Regular consumption of soda can lead to dental cavities invariably. If a person regularly consumes soda and does not maintain good oral hygiene, then the probability of dental cavities is very high indeed.

How about Diet Colas

Diet cola may not contain sugar but they still contain acid. Hence the erosion effect on the enamel is still present. So diet cola is also not recommended.

How to prevent damage to teeth due to sodas

The simple way is to completely forego sodas and replace them with healthy drinks. Water is also a great alternative. However many of us cannot simply stop consumption of soda. Here are few tips that can reduce the ill-effects of soda.

(a)    Have soda in moderation

(b)   Drink soda with the help of a straw. This ensures the soda does not affect the teeth.

(c)    After having a soda, rinse your mouth thoroughly so that the sugar and acid of the soda are not left to act on the teeth and its enamel.

(d)   Brush your teeth after half hour of consuming soda. Do not brush your teeth immediately because your teeth are very vulnerable after the soda is consumed. Hence brushing action can have a very damaging effect on your teeth.

(e)   Do not have a soda while you are going to bed. This is because your mouth becomes dry through the night and oral bacteria are more active. The ready availability of sugar and acid in the soda serves the bacteria the whole night.

Dental / General Dentistry / Oral Hygiene

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