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Think Before You Drink: Kick Your Cola Habit

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Drinking soda doesn’t just negatively impact your waistline – it permanently affects your teeth. All carbonated soft drinks, whether they are diet or touted as low in sugar, wear away your teeth’s enamel.

Tooth enamel is a hard, thin, translucent layer of calcification that protects your teeth from daily wear and tear. Although it’s the hardest substance in your body, enamel cannot be replaced once it’s gone. That’s why it’s important to protect and properly care for your enamel while you still have it.

Acidic and sugary foods and drinks erode enamel, and dentists are noticing that more and more – as well as younger and younger – people are suffering from worn off enamel. Most popular sodas contain phosphoric and citric acid, which contribute to flavor, but these chemicals make drinks more acidic than lemon juice or vinegar.

Many studies have shown how soda contributes to tooth erosion, cavities and dental decay. But unfortunately, the amount of soda that Americans drink remains steadily on the rise. In fact, the average American drinks about 44 gallons of soda every year, according to the National Soft Drink Association.

If you’re used to having a soda at lunchtime or drink several sodas a week, it’s time to put your dental health first and kick your cola habit. Cut down on your soft drinks or try going cold turkey altogether, and know that you’re doing what’s best for your teeth.

If you have a soda every now and then, don’t sip it throughout the day, which will expose your teeth the acidic chemicals for a longer amount of time. Only drink it while also eating other food, which will help to clear it off of your teeth.

To further remove phosphoric and citric acid from your teeth, brush them immediately after drinking soda. If you aren’t able to brush, thoroughly rinse with a mouthwash or water. Chewing sugar-free gum also helps get harmful chemicals and bacteria away from your teeth and gums.

Those who don a mouthguard during sports or who wear Invisalign aligners should be extra careful about avoiding sodas – these devices can force acidic chemicals to stay against your teeth even longer, which leads to enamel loss as well as tooth decay and staining.

Dental Care in Toccoa

If you would like to learn more about protecting your enamel, taking care of your smile, or any of the dental treatments that the Wilbanks Smile Center offers, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be reached at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.

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