You might have started the year committed to kicking your daily soda habit, but now that almost two months have passed in 2017, have you started slacking off on your strict diet? The occasional soda might not seem like a big deal, and like most things, cola can be fine in moderation. That said, drinking too much sugar can lead to a host of problems, both for your overall health and specifically for your smile. So while you might not need to ditch the sodas altogether, it is important that you take good care of your smile, and that means being consistent about limiting your sugar intake.
What Makes Sugar So Problematic?
Sugar is problematic for one’s oral health, because the plaque bacteria in the mouth feed upon sugar. Therefore, the more you consume the more likely you are to struggle with cavities but also gum disease, a chronic condition that affects millions of Americans.
Sadly, sodas are extremely high in sugar, which is why they can be so problematic for oral health. Sodas aren’t the only sugary drink, though. Coffee sweetened with sugar or most flavored creamers, sweetened teas, and even sports drinks and natural juices can all be high in sugar. Many of these beverages are also naturally acidic, making them extra problematic for the teeth’s enamel which can be eroded by acidity.
How Can You Protect Your Smile?
Limiting your sugar consumption is one of the best ways to protect your smile. If you are going to drink the occasional cola or other sweetened drink, though, there are some ways you can help to mitigate their negative effects.
- Drinking through a straw can help to minimize the impact of an acidic or sugary beverage.
- Having a glass of water shortly after another sweetened beverage can also help to gently rinse the teeth clean. Chewing sugar-free gum is similarly effective. Brushing the teeth after a sweet drink is also a good idea, if possible.
- Even enjoying a soda with a meal can help to limit its negative effects, because chewing creates saliva, which is a natural defense against plaque buildup.
If you are interested in learning more about protecting your dental health, or scheduling a cleaning, call Stephens and Gatewood Dentistry in Spring, TX, today at 281-320-2000.