Did you know that about 30% of the American population drinks at least one soft drink per day? Worse still, about 43% of young adults from the ages of 18-24 drink a soft drink per day. This can be problematic for a number of reasons: soft drinks can lead to serious health issues like Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. You may be surprised to know that both regular and sugar-free soft drinks can be hugely detrimental to your oral health as well. Here are just a few of the ways that soft drink could be harming your teeth.
1. Soft drinks leads to acid attacks on your teeth and gums.
Each time you drink a sip of your soft drink—or pop, depending on where you’re from—the bacteria in plaque naturally feed on the sugars in your beverage. These bacteria then metabolize the sugars in order to secrete acids. Then, these acids attack your teeth and gums, and can cause permanent damage to your dental enamel. This process typically takes about 20 minutes, but if you’re sipping on one drink for a long period of time, it could mean prolonged attacks on your teeth.
2. Soft drinks can cause your dental enamel to become soft.
Think opting for sugar-free soft drinks can help protect your teeth? Think again. That’s because all soft drinks contain acids like phosphates and citric acids. These acids gradually soften your dental enamel—the white protective layer of your teeth. By weakening this defensive layer, your teeth are more susceptible to long-term damage.
3. Soft drinks can cause painful cavities.
After weakening your dental enamel, soft drinks can really cause harm to your teeth. They attack the dental enamel and then impact the next layer of your tooth—the dentin. Over time, this damage and erosion can lead to tiny holes in the tooth known as cavities. Cavities will continue to get worse and worse over time for those who drink soft drink regularly. Unfortunately, these can be quite painful!
4. Soft drinks can make your teeth less white.
A healthy smile leads to whiter teeth! Conversely, unhealthy teeth can often appear discolored and unpleasant. If you drink too much, your teeth could begin to yellow as a result of your dental enamel gradually thinning and showing the yellow dentin layer beneath. Tooth decay can also cause considerable damage to the aesthetic appearance of your smile. At first, it may look like chalky white spots on your teeth, but over time it can become brown or black and even cause parts of your teeth to break off.
One of the best things you can do to protect your teeth is to quit drinking soft drinks and sugary beverages altogether. Another great way to improve your oral health is to make routine visits to your dentist.
Call Valley Dental of Plainfield today to schedule your next routine visit to the dentist so we can help you protect your teeth and improve your oral health.