Sugary Drinks and Dental Caries
When it comes to keeping your teeth healthy, it's important to make sure you brush and floss, but it's just as important to be careful of what you eat or drink as well. There is a long list of foods and drinks that are not good for your teeth. In fact, they can actually slow down or reverse any good that your dental hygiene routine is doing.
Sugar drinks, such as fruit juices, sports drinks and soft drinks, are definitely on this list. Drinking too much of these drinks can cause lots of dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay and even bad breath.
Tooth decay occurs when sugar meets with bacteria in your mouth and produces acid. This produced acid and the acid that your drinks already contains attack your teeth and weakens them. Each acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes. Every time you take a sip of the drink, the acid damages begin all over again. This ongoing acid attacks eventually dissolve the tooth enamel and lead to caries and cavities.
How to avoid decay and erosion:
• Drink sugary drinks only in rare occasions, if at all.
• Use a straw, so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink.
• Take a sip of water after a sugary drink to help rinse out your mouth and dilute the sugars.
• Use fluoride toothpaste. Also do not brush your teeth right away after you drink a sugary or acidic drink. Wait at least an hour so your teeth can recover and your enamel can remineralize before you brush them.
• Do not drink a sugary or acidic drink slowly or over a long duration.
• Never drink sugary or acidic drinks before you go to bed.
• Drink water instead! It has no acid, no sugar and no harm :)
Ian, the Mosman dentist. Dentist Mosman.