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Are Sodas Harmful for Your Teeth?

Sodas/ soft drinks are no longer an occasional treat, sadly for many; it has become an essential part of their diet. It seems to have taken the place of water, the essential element our bodies need for hydration.

Soda generally seems a harmless indulgence, but it can create havoc on your dental health. In this blog, we will discuss how it damages your teeth and how you can prevent it.

How Does Soda Damage Your Teeth?

You have always heard or read that avoiding soda is one of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy and strong, but have you ever thought what makes soda so bad for the teeth? Well, the answer is: Sodas have a huge potential for causing tooth decay and cavities, because of their high sugar and acid content.

The high sugar content of soda, when mixed with the mouth’s bacteria, creates a damaging acid buildup on your teeth and gums. This acid when not kept in check can lead to visible tooth decay and painful cavities.

For instance, every time you take a sip of soda, you introduce harmful sugars into your mouth, causing acid to attack your teeth and gums.

These “acid attacks” can last about 20 minutes so if you have been sipping on soda all day long, your teeth are under constant attack the entire time and the process repeats itself every time you take a sip.

The acid attacks weaken the structure of the teeth enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay. If left untreated, the decay can lead to tooth loss.

What Problems Can Soda Cause to Your Teeth?

Excessive consumption of soda leads to bad oral hygiene. Our teeth are no match for the acids found in soda which is why it is important to take the proper measures to prevent soda from causing such damage. Let us see how soda works to affect your dental health.

The Major Dental Effects of Soda

Soda can have two significant impacts on your teeth, as outlined below:

1. Erosion

The enamel is the outermost layer that protects the dentin and nerves, making sure they are not exposed. Erosion refers to the loss and damage of your enamel, which is a coating on your teeth that acts as a protective barrier. When you drink soda this coating is damaged and begins to erode.

Once this layer has been destroyed it is impossible to restore it and your teeth will be left weak and prone to damage. As you start to consume soda, the acids that are introduced to your mouth start to tear away the enamel.

The hardness of the surface is reduced and it starts to break away, which then exposes the dentin and nerves causing teeth sensitivity and other problems.

Though sports drinks and fruit juices also damage your enamel, soda goes one step further in actually weakening the surface hardness of your enamel. Staining, chipping, and cavities are far more likely to occur once tooth enamel has been compromised.

2. Dental Cavities

The erosion of your tooth enamel can lead to the formation of cavities. Cavities also are known as dental caries develop gradually in the teeth of individuals who drink soda on a regular basis. It is worth noting that poor oral hygiene can accelerate the cavity development process.

As your enamel starts to erode, it leaves the main body of your teeth vulnerable to cavities. The sugar from soda and other food helps bacteria from cavities in your teeth. If not treated, the cavities expand to the nerves of the teeth leading to infection and abscess. It can also affect any fillings you have previously received.

How to Prevent the Damage Caused by Sodas

It is not easy to stop the habit of drinking soda altogether. Most people will have trouble with such a commitment. However, we can suggest you on steps to help you curb the habit and protect your teeth.

You can avoid the detrimental effects of soda on your teeth by following the tips below:

1. Control how much you drink soda:

Drinking in moderation is very important; do not have more than one glass of soda a day. One glass is also damaging but you can control the impact of it with a proper oral regimen.

Consuming soda is not recommended but if you can’t stop the habit then you should drink those that are less acidic.

This will give your teeth some break as it fights the acids that you introduce each time you consume soda. It will slightly lessen the impact the soda has on your teeth helping you maintain your pearly whites.

2. Drink soda quickly:

The longer you take to drink soda the more time the soda is in contact with your teeth and the more damage it does.

So you should drink it quickly, don’t take too long between sips. This will ensure that the acid does not attack your teeth for a longer period of time.

3. Drink with a straw:

Use a straw to ensure the sugar does not come into contact with your teeth. The straw will protect your teeth as it will not expose the entire tooth to soda.

When you drink with a straw, the soda won’t interact with the front end of your teeth as much, shielding it in a way.

4. Rinse immediately after you sip in soda:

You should rinse your mouth with water after you have soda. This will help get rid of sugar and acids that are leftover, preventing them from attacking the teeth.

After drinking soda, swish your mouth out with water, this will dilute the sugar and acid, reducing their effect on the teeth.

5. Do not brush immediately:

Most people would think that brushing after consuming soda will help to fight the acids but that is not true. Brushing immediately after can cause more damage.

The friction of brushing will compromise your recently weakened enamel. You should wait at least 30 minutes after having a soda to brush your teeth.

6. Do not drink soda before you sleep:

Having soda before you sleep allows the acid and sugar to constantly attack your teeth throughout the night. So rinse your mouth thoroughly before you sleep.

7. Go for regular dental checkups:

You should make sure to visit a dentist on a regular basis so the dentist can detect if there is any damage caused by the consumption of soda. This will also ensure your teeth are in good health.

The dentist will be able to identify problems before they become health risks, saving you years of dental trouble and money along the way. All the dentists in India recommend a 6 monthly routine dental check-up.

While most associate obesity and weight gain to high-sugar soft drinks, soda can also impact your smile and oral health.

There are a number of treatments that can be done in case your teeth have been exposed to the harmful acid attacks.

The cosmetic dentists in Delhi offer a wide range of treatment modalities varying from a simple cavity filling for cavities, teeth whitening procedure in case the teeth have stained to crown/veneer treatment as a permanent solution.


Posted by – Dr. Sonam