In some places, it’s called "pop" and in other areas it’s called "soda". But according to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, whatever you call it, one fact remains – that sugary, carbonated soft drink can lead to serious oral health complications.
In fact, soft drinks have taken the top spot as one of the most significant sources of tooth decay, affecting people of all ages. Acids and sugary byproducts in soft drinks soften your tooth enamel and contribute to cavities.
Sugar-free drinks - which account for less than 15% percent of all soft drink consumption – aren’t quite as harmful, but they can still cause problems.
Your dentist Columbia notes that soft drink consumption in the United States has increased substantially across all demographics, especially children and teenagers. Estimates reveal that at least one in five children consumes at least four soft drinks each day, with some teenagers consuming as many as 12 in just one day.
But children and teenagers aren't the only ones at risk - extended consumption of soft drinks can have a snowball effect on tooth enamel, so as people age, they’re more likely to experience problems.
Everyone can gain from limiting the number of soft drinks they consume, but following are some other steps you can take, compliments of your dentist Columbia:
- Substitute beverages: Purchase drinks that contain less sugar and acid such as water, milk and 100 %fruit juice. Drink them yourself as an example to encourage your children to do the same.
- Rinse with water: After drinking a soft drink, rinse your mouth with water to remove any residue from the drink that can lead to extended exposure of your tooth enamel to acids.
- Use fluoride toothpaste and rinse: Fluoride is shown to reduce cavities and strengthen tooth enamel, so brush with a toothpaste containing fluoride and then rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
- Get a professional fluoride treatment: Your dental hygienist can apply fluoride to your teeth in the form of a foam, gel or rinse.
The bottom line is that soft drinks can damage your teeth. By reducing the amount you drink and practicing good oral hygiene, you can counteract their effect.
Is it time for a checkup or cleaning? Call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule an appointment and let’s fight the effects of soda together!