Soft drinks like cola and lemonade may be refreshing, but they can do a lot of damage to your teeth. If you often suffer from tooth decay and tartar, and you enjoy soft drinks, there may be a connection between the two. This article will teach you how soft drinks can damage your teeth.
Soft drinks contain acids
Teeth can withstand a lot of trauma because tooth enamel is the hardest material in the human body. Yes, tooth enamel is even harder than bone. However, bones can usually repair themselves after they suffer damage, but tooth enamel cannot.
Soft drinks are one of the most damaging beverages that you can expose your teeth to. The reason for this is that many types of soft drinks contain all three of the following acids:
- Carbonic acid
- Citric acid
- Phosphoric acid
These three acids combined come into contact with your tooth enamel when you drink a soft drink. And gradually, these acids wear away the enamel layer that protects the fragile nerves in the centre of your teeth.
Acids soften tooth enamel
The aforementioned acids soften tooth enamel. In its softened state, tooth enamel is vulnerable to physical forces. For instance, if you chew on hard foods while drinking acidic soft drinks, these foods will damage the softened enamel of your teeth and contribute to cavities. Cavities then become hiding places for tooth decay-causing bacteria to hide and multiply.
Oral bacteria produce acids too
Some of the oral bacteria in your mouth are friendly. But other species, such as streptococcus mutans are harmful to your oral health because they cause plaque and tooth decay. These strains feed on the foods that you consume, and the easiest food for this type of bacteria to consume is food that is high in simple sugars, like soft drinks and candies.
Unfortunately, streptococcus mutans and their other harmful buddies produce acidic waste after they have feasted on sugar. And since these bad types of bacteria live on the surface of your teeth, the acid they produce eats into your tooth enamel. The more soft drinks you drink throughout the day, the higher your risk of damaging your teeth.
Drinking soft drinks slowly is a bad idea
If you do drink a soft drink, try to drink it quickly, or drink a little now and save the rest for later. If you drink a soft drink slowly, your teeth will be bathed in acid for a prolonged period. This will result in more damage to your teeth. Try to drink soft drinks in moderation, or sip some water with each soft drink to wash away the acids and help your saliva neutralize acids in your saliva.
To learn more, reach out to a clinic like Queen Street Dental.