That glass of juice or bottle of soda can be doing a lot of harm that could result in long term damage to your teeth and oral health. You brush and floss daily and visit your dentist every six months to protect your teeth and gums; but while those steps are helpful, you need to take it to the next level by learning how sugary drinks can impact the oral health for your entire family.
Problems with Consuming Sugary Beverages
Whether your drink of choice is soda, diet soda, juice, chocolate milk, sports drinks, or sweetened tea, regular consumption can have a variety of negative side effects.
The mouth contains bacteria; sugary beverages cling to already present bacteria. This bacteria turns into acids that can eat away at protective dental enamel. When this happens, decay is the possible outcome. And if you believe that diet drinks are a solution, keep in mind that diet soda still contains phosphoric acid that can damage teeth.
Additionally, many sweetened diet drinks contain artificial sweeteners, which can be harmful to overall health.
What if you don’t like plain water?
There are numerous things you can do to jazz up your water; add fruit like citrus, watermelon, strawberries – whatever you like can be added to your water as a natural flavoring.
There are sugar free flavorings available that you just squirt into your water to alter your plain water; and for variety, try adding a little flavoring to sparkling water.
Drinking water is important as it helps to keep you hydrated; beverages like soda and many “healthy” drinks contain caffeine, which do not provide hydration benefits.
Tap water in many communities contains fluoride, which helps support strong teeth.
If you add sugar to your morning coffee, don’t nurse it for hours; drink it quickly and rinse or follow with a glass of water.
This also pertains to any other sugary beverages; if you sip on juice or soda, you are increasing the time your teeth are exposed to harmful sugars. Drink with a meal; and if you are going to enjoy an occasional sugary beverage, use a straw. Cut sugar in half by diluting juice with water.
Make sure all family members maintain a good daily oral hygiene regimen of brushing and flossing; and visit our dentist, Dr. Daniel Bush, every six months for cleaning and exam.