Of all foods and beverages harmful to one’s oral health, soda is definitely one of the top most dangerous things a person can drink—especially a child. Sodas of all kinds contain acidic ingredients and sweeteners. Each of these ingredients are problematic on their own and even worse when combined. Children who drink soda often are more likely to need treatments such as restorations from our children’s dentist. Following are facts about soda intake and oral health.
How Acid Affects Teeth and Oral Health
Acid is problematic because it weakens tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the protective barrier that surrounds the outside of teeth above the gums. This barrier is comprised of minerals such as calcium to prevent cavity-causing bacteria from eating through the softer structures of teeth.
When teeth are exposed to acidic compounds over time, tooth enamel will weaken. Acids literally strip away the minerals within tooth enamel. Weakened tooth enamel can lead to permanent damage, which in turn leaves teeth vulnerable to decay.
How Sugar Affects Teeth and Oral Health
Sugar is problematic to oral health because it is a natural food source for bacteria. When sugar particles are in the mouth, bacteria begin to feed and subsequently colonize. Too much sugar consumption paired with inadequate oral hygiene can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria—especially harmful strains that infect the gums and cause tooth decay.
Since soda combines sugar and acid, it is especially harmful to teeth and oral health. If teeth become damaged by decay or if gum disease develops, patients will require professional treatment from our children’s dentist.
Our team recommends that parents reduce intake of sugar and acid – especially in beverages. Soda should be drunk in moderation, if at all. After consuming acids or sugars, we encourage patients to drink water or brush their teeth. This will help rinse away harmful particles and dilute acids. Water consumption is also important. Children should drink eight, eight-ounce glasses of water throughout each day.
To reserve a checkup or cleaning, call our family-friendly practice today.