Prevent Tooth Decay When Drinking Fizzy Drinks

A soft drink (also called soda, pop, coke, soda pop, fizzy drink, tonic, or carbonated beverage) is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water (often, but not always carbonated water), a sweetener, and a flavoring agent. The sweetener may be sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, or a sugar substitute (in the case of diet drinks).

A soft drink may also contain caffeine or fruit juice, or both.

Examples of beverages not considered to be soft drinks are: pure juice, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, milk, and milkshakes. Beverages like Gatorade and Powerade may meet the definition of a soft drink but are usually called sports drinks.

Most soft drinks contain high concentration of simple carbohydrates: glucose, fructose, sucrose and other simple sugars. Oral bacteria ferment carbohydrates and produce acid, which dissolves tooth enamel during the dental decay process; thus, sweetened drinks are likely to increase risk of dental caries. The risk is greater if the frequency of consumption is high.

A large number of soft drinks are acidic, and some may have a pH of 3.0 or even lower. Drinking acidic drinks over a long period of time and continuous sipping can therefore erode the tooth enamel. However, under normal conditions, scientific evidence indicates Coca-Cola’s acidity causes no immediate harm.

Using a drinking straw is often advised by dentists as the drink does not come into as much contact with the teeth. It has also been suggested[by whom?] that brushing teeth right after drinking soft drinks should be avoided as this can result in additional erosion to the teeth due to the presence of acid.

Drinking soda is bad for your teeth. Soft drinks can eat away the protective enamel on your teeth, causing tooth decay.

But if you can’t pass up an occasional soda, the December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers tips to help minimize soda-related damage to your teeth.

– Use a straw when drinking soda. It may help by reducing the contact between your teeth and the beverage. Position the straw near the back of your mouth. One study indicates that a straw positioned near the front of the mouth can, over time, expose your front teeth to a significant amount of acid.

– Don’t brush your teeth right after drinking soda. You may damage the enamel, which is weakened by the acid in carbonated beverages.

– Drink it down. If you sip sugar-sweetened drinks over a long period, you’re increasing exposure to acid and the risk of damage leading to tooth decay.

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