Sugar-free sodas may be better for your waistline, but they're just as bad for your teeth as regular sodas. Dr. Adel Mansour, your Hunters Creek, FL, dentist, explains how sugar-free sodas can damage your teeth.
Acids attack your tooth enamel
Sugar certainly plays a role in tooth decay, but it's not the only thing you need to worry about. Sugar is a problem because it combines with the foods you eat to form acids that damage your tooth enamel, increasing your risk of tooth decay. Unfortunately, since most sodas already contain acids, eliminating sugar does little to protect your teeth. If you take a look at the back of a can of soda, you'll notice several types of acids, such as tartaric, citric and phosphoric, listed.
These acids can eat away at your tooth enamel and eventually cause cavities. Your risk of cavities increases the more you drink soda. If you're never without a can or glass of sugar-free soda, your mouth is continually bathed in acids. As the acids break down your enamel, you'll begin to notice that your teeth look darker. This problem occurs when the dentin underneath your enamel is exposed.
Four ways to reduce damage from sugar-free sodas
Giving up sugar-free sodas is the obvious way to prevent damage, but if that's not a realistic option, consider these tips:
- Buy a Package of Straws: Use a straw every time you drink sugar-free soda. Using the straw helps reduce the amount of soda that reaches your teeth.
- Drink Soda at Mealtimes Only: When you drink a soda with a meal, you may be more likely to finish it quickly, which will reduce acid exposure.
- Switch to Less Acidic Drinks: A variety of beverages, including black tea, milk, and water are better for your teeth. Among sodas, root beer has the least amount of acids.
- Don't Brush Your Teeth Immediately: Brushing your teeth immediately after you finish a soda may seem like a good idea, but it's best to wait an hour before you brush.
Has it been a while since your last dental exam? Exams are particularly important if you drink sugar-free sodas. Call Dr. Adel Mansour, your Hunters Creek, FL, dentist, at (407) 483-9990 to schedule an appointment. Lower your cavity risk by eliminating sugar-free sodas.