Limit or Eliminate Sugary Drinks to Improve Dental Health

Sugary Drink

Everyone has heard that excess sugar consumption is bad for you, but did you know that those sugary drinks are packing on more than pounds? Research has shown that excess sugar consumption, especially in the form of sugary beverages, contributes to the formation of dental caries.

Sugar feeds certain bacteria that live in the mouth. These bacteria secrete acids, which destroy tooth enamel. Cavities are a bacterial infection created by acids that make holes your teeth. If you have a cavity, it must be treated by your dentist before it deepens into the tooth’s inner layers. Cavities that progress to these areas can cause pain and even potential tooth loss.

Sugar isn’t the only problematic ingredient in soft drinks. Acids added to soft drinks can also weaken tooth enamel. Diet soda can also be damaging to your teeth. According to the Wisconsin Dental Association, each sip of soda launches an ‘attack’ by the bacteria and acids which last about 20 minutes.

Other drinks in addition to carbonated beverages like regular and diet soda can also harm your teeth. Sugar is found in fruit juice, sweetened teas, and sports beverages. Each of these beverages can also encourage the proliferation of the so-called ‘bad’ bacteria that produces enamel-damaging acids.

Children and teens are especially vulnerable to tooth enamel damage since their enamel isn’t fully formed yet. Dentists recommend drinking water instead of sugar beverages. Not only is it thirst-quenching, its calorie and sugar free. Limiting other sugary foods, especially sticky foods like caramel, taffy, and ‘gummy’ candies, is also a great idea.

Drinking one can of soda pop while enjoying a party, a ball game, or a special event isn’t going to cause an immediate cavity. Common habits, such as having a soft drink with your daily lunch and dinner, can contribute to tooth decay over time. Start instilling good habits in your children early, and try to improve your diet by limiting soft drinks to special occasions. Your dentist – and your teeth – will thank you.

Bassett Creek Dental gives you more reasons to smile. We have several fine dentists on staff, and offer a full range of family and cosmetic dental services in our comfortable Golden Valley office. Please call our office today for an appointment. 763-546-1301.