Did you know that about a half of all Americans – including people in Hendricks County – drink at least one carbonated soft drink a day? That’s a lot of soda – or pop – or whatever you like to call soft drinks. Why is the staff at Danville Family Dentistry, concerned about how much soda you’re drinking? Because soft drinks contain acids and sugars that can cause acid erosion.
What Is Acid Erosion?
Your teeth are covered with enamel, a semi-translucent, hard outer layer made up of minerals. Tooth enamel protects your teeth from daily wear and tear, guards your teeth from decay, and shields your teeth from damaging acids.
However, tooth enamel is not impenetrable. Over time, acids in foods and acids produced when bacteria interact with sugars can leach calcium from your tooth enamel. This causes it to wear down, exposing the dentine beneath. Once this occurs, your tooth is vulnerable to cavities and decay as well as tooth sensitivity and pain.
Why Soft Drinks Are Bad for Your Teeth
First, regular soft drinks contain a high amount of sugar that can cause tooth decay. Second, regular and diet soft drinks contain acidic ingredients, such as citric acid, phosphoric acid and tartaric acid. With every sip, these acids attack your enamel, dissolving it away.
In fact, regular and diet sodas are almost as corrosive to tooth enamel as battery acid. According to studies, RC Cola, Cherry Coke and Coke are the most acidic soft drinks. But other sodas, like Pepsi, Squirt, Surge, 7 Up and Diet 7 Up, are also damaging to tooth enamel as well.
How to Prevent Acid Erosion
Here are some ways our Hendricks County patients can protect their teeth and stop acid erosion:
- Stop drinking soda. Drink water, milk or tea instead.
- Drink sugar free soft drinks only with meals.
- Use a straw to sip soda. It’ll reduce the amount of soda that comes in contact with your teeth.
- Wait 30 to 60 minutes after drinking soda before you brush your acid-exposed teeth.
- Avoid soft drinks before bedtime. Sugars and acids from soda won’t be able to attack your teeth all night.
- Have your teeth cleaned regularly at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County. Regular exams with Dr. Jon Erickson can help uncover any dental problems before they get worse. Contact us today to schedule an appointment