If you’ve read the paper this week you may have come across articles about a proposed soft drink tax, which is being supported by a huge number of public health organisations in a bid to reduce rates of decay and tackle the ever-growing problem of obesity. Most of us are aware that drinking fizzy soft drinks is bad for our teeth, but why is this and what damage can a can of pop really do?
When you were little you were probably told that drinking fizzy drinks and eating sweets rots your teeth, but is this really true? If you’re sceptical about what really happens when you leave a tooth in a glass of pop overnight, then you may be shocked to learn that drinking just a few cans of fizzy drink every week could do real harm to your teeth; a study conducted in Australia revealed that drinking 3 drinks per day almost doubles the risk of decay.
Fizzy drinks are full of sugar, which spells real problems for your teeth. When you eat or drink sugary or starchy foods, this causes the bacteria in your mouth to start feeding on the debris, which triggers the release of harmful plaque acids. Plaque acids soften the enamel, the protective surface of the teeth and once the enamel is worn or damaged, the tooth is at serious risk of decay. Enamel is very hard but once it is worn it cannot be repaired or replaced and bacteria can penetrate the tooth, leading to sensitivity, tooth pain and cavities.
Ideally, you should avoid fizzy drinks altogether, but if you’re desperate for a sugar fix, try sticking to mealtimes when your teeth will already be under attack. Dentists are eager to inform people that often it is not that quantity of sugar people consume, but when they actually consume it. Snacking and drinking between meals means that the teeth are under constant acid attack, which will lead to acid erosion. Always wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after eating or drinking anything sugary, as brushing during this period of time can cause even more damage to the enamel.
Water and milk are the best drinks for your teeth; water is beneficial for your whole body and it contains no sugar and no calories, while milk contains calcium, which is essential for strong teeth, bones and nails. If you prefer more ‘exciting’ drinks, try to stick to sugar-free versions; watch out for fruit juices and energy drinks, which are laden with sugar, as well as being very acidic and opt for sugar-free alternatives. If you would like more information about oral health please contact the team today at Harley Street Dental Studio in the very heart of London.
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