Fizzy Drinks….. Are they safe on Teeth?
Soft drinks are popular beverages. These cool, bubbly drinks are being consumed everywhere. They contain acids and sugars that have the potential to cause dental caries (tooth decay) and dental erosion (tooth wear due to acid). Fizzy drinks have the ability to dissolve enamel and dentin. When you drink soda, the sugars within interact with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid attacks your teeth. Both regular and sugar-free sodas also contain their own acids, and these attack the teeth too. With each swig of soda, you’re starting a damaging reaction that lasts for about 20 minutes. If you sip all day, your teeth are under constant attack.
The amount of tooth damage also depends on:
• Drinking methods – Holding the drink longer in the mouth leads to a more pronounced pH drop and damage to the teeth.
• Teeth damage is also higher if tooth brushing is done immediately after drinking an acidic drink.
• Non-fluoride toothpaste and Whitening toothpaste also leads to significantly greater wear of enamel and dentin.
Signs and symptoms of tooth damage:
• Patients may notice sensitivity on biting or with hot, cold and sweet.
• The pain is short-lived from a few seconds-minutes (reversible).
• Larger lesions can be spontaneously painful and the pain can last a few hours (irreversible).
• Cavities develop as white chalky lesions and then progress.
Keeping teeth healthy for a lifetime means preventing tooth decay and erosion. Although fluoride dramatically reduces the amount of decay in all age groups, tooth erosion is a newer phenomenon and one that is preventable.
Tips to prevent dental erosion and caries:
• Reduce the quantity of soft drinks
• Use a straw while drinking soft drinks
• Avoid drinking for a longer period
• Swishing your mouth with water after drinking an acidic drink will also help
• If soft drinks are taken, limit them to during meals
• Tooth brushing at least twice a day
• Wait atleast 1 hour after drinking an acidic drink to brush your teeth
• Brush your teeth before going to bed with fluoride or remineralizing toothpaste.
About the Author:
Dr. Dorcus is a competent Dentist and Oral Surgeon. Her expertise includes general dental procedures and oral surgical procedures like removal of impacted wisdom teeth, frenectomies, abscess drainage, gingivectomy, apicecoetomies, cyst enucleations and gum contouring. She developed excellent surgical skills that vastly improved her repertoire. Over the years, her experience has inspired her to strive for excellence in dentistry. Her current interests include minimal invasive surgical access and the use of Lasers in dentistry.