Have you ever wondered why people say that soft drinks are bad for your teeth? Soft drinks, also known as soda or pop depending on where you live, can be bad for your teeth because they often contain high amounts of sugar and sugar has a direct connection to tooth decay. The good news about soft drinks and your teeth, though, is that there are healthier alternatives that can also be great tasting and easy to find.
Why is Sugar Bad for Your Teeth?
Sugar isn’t bad on its own, but when sugar combines with the saliva and bacteria in your mouth, it can react to form plaque. Plaque is that sticky colorless film that forms on the surface of your teeth between brushings and can lead to tooth decay or cavities.
Your body actually does an amazing job fighting cavities on its own because your saliva naturally works to neutralize the PH balance of your mouth and protect your teeth, but sugar can throw off that delicate balance and cause the environment to become acidic and harmful to your teeth. This can include sugar not only in soft drinks or sodas, but sweetened teas, coffees, fruit juices with added sugars, energy drinks and sports drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, as well.
Healthier Alternatives to Sugary Drinks
Now, on to the good news about soft drinks and your teeth! There are many alternatives to sugary drinks available now thanks to other natural and artificial sweeteners that range from less harmful to actually beneficial to your teeth like xylitol. Xylitol has been shown to have the potential to change the PH of your mouth over time in a beneficial way that might reduce the level of bacteria and its ability to adhere to your teeth.
When looking for a flavored drink, check the ingredient label and nutrition facts for sugar content. Look for drinks that are advertised as sugar free and preferably contain ingredients that are beneficial to your health. Water is always a healthy choice as well, since it supports oral health by aiding in the production of saliva and helping to wash away bacteria encouraging food particles.
Ask Your Dentist
Your dentist is here to help you take good care of your teeth while also enjoying life to its fullest. If you need more information on soft drinks and your teeth, it’s a great idea to talk to your dentist about your concerns and ask if they have any suggestions for alternatives to your favorite sweetened drinks or which alternative sweeteners might be helpful to search for. There are often many more healthy and great tasting options available than you might realize! Making choices that reduce the exposure of your teeth to sugar can go a long way towards protecting your teeth from cavities and keeping your smile at its brightest and healthiest.
Call our Glendale, Sun City West or Scottsdale dental offices to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.