People love grabbing a soda, sipping on a juice, getting a boost from an energy drink and seeking refreshment after playing sports or exercising with a sports drink. While all of these drinks may taste great, they can also cause pretty severe damage to people’s tooth enamel. The enamel is the protective outer layer of the teeth, and if it is damaged, people are much more susceptible to cavities, decay and tooth loss.
Doctor Brodie Bowman at Grace and Bowman Orthodontics knows the importance of healthy tooth enamel and a healthy mouth. Healthy tooth enamel is especially important for those who wear braces. Maintaining good oral health throughout treatment is extremely important to achieving a beautiful smile after your braces are removed. To schedule your appointment, contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics today, and we’ll help get you on the road to a healthy mouth.
Soda and Enamel Erosion
Enamel erosion occurs when the tooth enamel is chemically eroded, primarily by acids. The acidic nature of soda can erode the enamel of the tooth. Soda also has a high sugar content. Thus, when someone drinks a lot of sugary soda, over time, he or she may weaken his or her tooth enamel and then leave a coating of sugar on which cavity-causing bacteria love to feed. The phosphoric and citric acids in soda are especially corrosive, meaning that simply opting for a diet soda is not sufficient. The acidic nature of the soda itself damages tooth enamel.
Juice and the Sippy Cup Conundrum
Parents are accustomed to having their toddlers and preschool-aged children drink from sippy cups in order to reduce the likelihood of spilling drinks. Often, children have sugary drinks such as fruit juices in their sippy cups.
Juices, like sodas, are highly acidic and full of sugar. An additional issue with sippy cups is that children tend to sip on their juice throughout the day, exposing their teeth constantly to the contained acids and sugars.
Parents may wish to limit the amount of juice their child drinks, opting for water or milk instead. They may also want to avoid allowing their child to sip from a sippy cup all day, as doing so prevents natural saliva from building up which is necessary to wash away problematic bacteria.
Energy Drinks and Sports Drinks Cause Rapid Damage
Energy drinks and sports drinks have exploded in popularity and many people drink several each day. They can cause very rapid tooth damage, however. According to a study in the journal American Dentistry, enamel is damaged after only five days of consuming these types of drinks. The damage caused by energy drinks is twice as bad as that caused by sports drinks.
It is recommended that people who choose to drink sports or energy drinks should immediately rinse their mouths with water after consuming them. Another recommendation is chewing a piece of sugar-free gum to aid in the buildup of saliva, the mouth’s natural defense against bacteria.
While it is okay to occasionally have a soda, juice, energy drink or sports drink, people should choose to drink them less frequently. Choosing to drink water more often instead can help avoid enamel erosion and resulting cavities from occurring.