September 25, 2017
It’s finally lunchtime! You sit down, eager to dig into your delicious sandwich. First, though, you open your soda and revel in the hissing sound it makes as air escapes from your can of carbonated delight. But did you know that your fizzy drink habit could actually be contributing to tooth decay? Soda and other carbonated beverages, like seltzer water, are hard on your pearly whites. Your dentist explains why you should cut back on the fizz.
Carbonated Drinks Are Acidic
When manufacturers create carbonated drinks, they make the liquid fizzy by dissolving pressurized carbon dioxide in it. This process produces carbonic acid, meaning that most of these drinks have a pH of between 3 and 4 (although some have an even lower pH). To put this in perspective, consider that flat water is neutral, meaning that it has a pH of seven. The lower the pH, the more acidic a drink is.
Carbonic acid isn’t the only problem in fizzy drinks. Many of them also contain citric acid, which is used to give the flavor of the drinks a yummy hint of tartness.
Together, these acids attack your tooth enamel, weakening it and perhaps even leading to cavities.
Sugary Acidic Drinks Are Even Worse
All carbonated drinks, even diet soda and seltzer water, contain acid that can harm your smile. However, the sugar-free options aren’t as dangerous as those that are packed full of sugar. A regular 12-oz can of soda may have up to 40 grams of the sweet stuff! Sugar can cling to your teeth and interact with the bacteria in your mouth, leading to plaque and acid that contribute to decay.
How to Protect Your Teeth from Fizzy Drinks
The best way to shield your smile from the effects of carbonated drinks is to avoid them altogether. However, everyone likes to enjoy some fizzy refreshment once in a while. Here are some tips to help you protect your teeth when you’re indulging in your favorite soda or seltzer water:
- Choose sugar-free options.
- Drink your beverage with a straw. This will minimize the amount of contact that your teeth have with the acid in the liquid.
- Don’t take too long when you’re drinking. Every time you take a sip of a sugary or acidic drink, a new attack starts on your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with flat water after you finish your fizzy beverage.
- Brush your teeth 30 minutes to an hour after your done with your drink. Don’t brush right away because your enamel will be weakened, and the toothbrush could cause further damage.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a checkup so you can stop any tooth decay before it becomes severe.
Fizzy drinks are enjoyable, but they’re also bad for your teeth. Indulge sparingly so you can keep your smile in great shape.
About the Dentist
Dr. Robert Jeanmenne leads the team at Centre Cosmetic Dentistry. Although his focus is on cosmetic dentistry, he also offers preventive and restorative services that promote overall oral health. If it’s time for your next dental checkup or you have questions about how to care for your smile, contact our office at 814-238-2020.
No comments yet.
RSS feed for comments on this post.
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.