When it comes to cavities, your general dentist has probably told you that you should brush and floss regularly. However, you may not know why you should brush and floss often. Cavities are still a common problem for many people. In fact, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in…
General Dentistry: How Sodas Are Detrimental to Your Smile
For maintaining healthy teeth and gums, general dentistry is essential. A general dentist takes care of all kinds of dental problems, including cavities, cracked or chipped teeth and extractions. A good dentist also educates patients about foods to avoid, such as sodas.
The soda industry
According to a new Gallup poll, almost half of adults in the U.S. drink soda every day. Of those, the average amount equals 2.6 glasses. Yes, soda is sweet and refreshing. However, it also wreaks havoc on both teeth and gums. The damage these beverages do is so bad that education has become a key part of general dentistry.
One thing that an individual can do to damage teeth is to drink sweet, carbonated beverages. For one thing, the sugar content leads to tooth decay. Also, the carbonation makes sodas extremely acidic. In fact, some sodas contain citric acid to give the flavor a tang. Unfortunately, that acid also damages teeth. Then, there is the pH level of sodas that people need to consider. Beverages with low pH attack tooth enamel.
As a general dentist explains, soda affects oral health in three ways — carbonation, sugar and pH level. Although all of these are bad, the worst of all is the acid.
How to avoid damaging teeth
The most obvious way is for people to stop drinking soda altogether. After talking to a general dentist, a lot of patients feel prompted to do just that. However, for those who do not want to stop drinking these beverages, there are ways to minimize any damage. One option is to stay clear of colas and orange soda. Whether regular, flavored or diet, these have a high acidic level.
As for sugar content, orange soda ranks at the top of the list. People need to remember that even non-cola drinks are bad for their teeth. These have high levels of citric acid. The issue is the citric acid binds to calcium, which erodes tooth enamel. Although diet soda has less sugar, they still contain acid.
General dentistry — a great educational tool
Through general dentistry education, patients also learn to sip soda through a straw. The reason is that the liquid bypasses the teeth for the most part. In other words, there is less contact with the soda and the person’s teeth. Another tip is to only drink soda with meals. That way, the food will help regulate the pH level in the mouth.
A general dentist also tells patients to rinse with water after having a soda. Even better, follow up with a dairy product. That might sound odd, but dairy re-mineralizes the enamel on teeth. Some people make the mistake of brushing after drinking a soda. Instead, this is something to avoid since the bristles can erode weakened enamel.
Make good choices for your teeth and gums
You can learn more about the effects of soda on your teeth by talking to a general dentist. What it comes down to is that what you eat and drink affects your oral health. If possible, avoid soda altogether. Then be sure you see your dentist for regular checkups.
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