It’s no secret that we Americans love our soda. From enjoying a cold Coke on a hot summer day, ensuring the kids only have Sprite to avoid the added caffeine, to even drinking a diet-Dr. Pepper with breakfast, we have made soda a staple in our day-to-day life. The average American consumed 38.87 gallons of soda in a year. Looks like the soda companies will be in business for a while… and so will the tooth decay bugs! Unfortunately, this sugary, bubbly drink comes with quite a few consequences when consumed regularly and without extra care to our teeth.

The two main dental effects of drinking soda are erosion and cavities. Erosion takes place due to the acid found in soda. Once it hits the enamel of your teeth (the outermost protective layer of teeth), it reduces the surface hardness of the enamel. After this point, soda can continue to affect the next layer of the tooth (dentin) and even composite fillings. When this occurs, people can get cavities and even toothaches.

But even without erosion, the sugar in sodas leads directly to cavities. In liquified form, this sugar flows between teeth and around roots wreaking havoc to the teeth. Mouth germs love the sugar and use it to wage war on your teeth.

How do we prevent these things from occurring? Let’s look at a few ways that we can protect our teeth while still enjoying the bubbly drinks:

Drink Sodas with a Meal

Instead of bathing your teeth all day in a sugar bath, only drink sodas at mealtime. This way the mouth has a better chance of buffering the damage.

Use a Straw

One of the biggest helps against erosion and cavities while drinking soda is making the switch to only drinking it through a straw! Doing so helps keep the damaging acid and sugars away from your teeth.

Rinse Your Mouth with Water

After you’ve finished drinking your soda, swishing water around in your mouth can help wash away any remaining sugars and acids and stop them from attacking your teeth.

Drink Quickly

The longer you sip on that can of pop, the longer the sugar and acid have to sit and damage your teeth.

Learn to Like Water

Try weaning off sodas. Cut down to one soda a week, and learn to like water. Or tea… without sugar. If you don’t like tea without sugar, you either have had bad tea or simply don’t like tea. Again, try water. You’ll like it!

Stay Up to Date on Your Cleanings!

If you are someone who drinks soda regularly, it is vital that you continually come in to see your friends at Dr. Drew and Crew so we can help your teeth stay healthy and strong.