You may enjoy taking a few swigs of Coke for breakfast – and then again for lunch, and once again for dinner. You cannot help but to embrace the acidic burn you experience with each sip; it invigorates you. Your favorite soda is also sweet to the palette and is amazingly thirst-quenching. However, your sweet habit is not so sweet to your teeth: Soda can have harmful effects on your teeth for a variety of reasons.
Soda is filled with sugar and acid that essentially weaken your tooth enamel. The purpose of tooth enamel, which is the hardest surface in the human body, is to protect the softer tissues that lie underneath it. Essentially, it protects the tooth against regular chomping and grinding. However, when the enamel becomes soft, you are more prone to having cavities.
Cavities occur when plaque – a sticky film on your teeth – is not removed. If you drink soda and do not brush the sugar away, the sugar in the plaque attracts certain bacteria, which feed on the sugars and then generate acids. These acids decrease the amount of minerals in the enamel, thus leading to small holes – which represent the first stage of cavities – on the surface of the tooth.
This decay may worsen to the point that the nerve inside the root of the tooth eventually becomes infected. Furthermore, when your enamel has softened, you are more prone to losing your teeth. This is particularly true if you fail to brush frequently or properly, or if you have a bad habit of grinding your teeth.
Even though sugar-free sodas can help to lessen the negative effects of soda on teeth, you cannot get rid of the problem altogether. An ideal alternative to drinking soda – which also has been dubbed “liquid candy” – is to drink 100 percent fruit juice and other beverages that do not contain sugar, such as water and milk. If you do not overcome your soda-drinking habit, you may end up paying more – not only financially but also health-wise – in the long run. Contact the office of Dr. Daniel C. Bush at 817-465-0355 to find out more about how soda and other food products can be harmful to your teeth.