Soda is a staple at backyard barbecues, movie nights, and pizza parties. It tastes great, gives you a fizzy lift, and can even settle your stomach. However, soda and other sugary drinks are generally not the best for your teeth. Let’s talk about what soda does to our teeth and some healthier alternatives to protect your pearly whites!
How Soda Affects Our Teeth
Soda is loaded with sugar and acids that stick to our teeth and work with bacteria in our mouths to form more acid. The acids erode tooth enamel, making it weaker. Sodas also damage the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel) enough to eventually cause cavities.
Tooth-Friendly Alternatives to Soda
It’s not too late to change your soda-drinking habits. There are plenty of healthy alternatives that are better for our teeth. Try swapping out soda for something better.
- Water is excellent for your whole body, and it washes away residue without damaging teeth.
- Unsweetened tea is flavorful but lacks the heavy sugar and acid content of soda.
- Plain, sparkling water is a fizzy alternative for people who just love that feeling.
- Diluted juice provides a little flavor and sweetness without the excess sugar and acid.
How to Protect Our Teeth
We get it, some people just love the taste and feel of an ice-cold soda. If you just can’t quit soda, try these tips to limit the damage to your teeth.
- Drink no more than one soda per day.
- If you choose to drink soda, drink it fast instead of nursing it over a period of time. Drinking faster gives the sugars less time to damage your teeth.
- Try using a straw to keep the damaging effects to a minimum.
- Rinse your mouth out with water when you’re done to wash away some of the sugars and acids.
- Wait to brush your teeth after drinking a soda. Waiting 30 to 60 minutes is better for your teeth.
- See your dentist for regular cleanings.
Skipping soda altogether is the best way to maintain healthy teeth, but it may not be something you’re willing to do. However, keeping up with your regular teeth cleanings allows your dental team to thoroughly clean your teeth and identify problem areas early on.