Tooth damage is something we’d all like to avoid. This is evident when we brush and floss, and avoid too much sugar in our diet. Cavities are, after all, a sugar problem, right? Maybe not. Many people have made changes to minimize their exposure to sugar, only to find they still struggle with cavities, or worse. Here, we will discuss how common beverages may be having a negative effect on your oral health.
Let’s Look Beyond Sugar
The reason that dental professionals encourage sugar-free products is because sugar feeds oral bacteria. Cavities occur when these microorganisms, along with food debris and saliva, form plaque. The acid in plaque is what causes holes to develop in teeth. So it is not the sugar, but the acid, that we must avoid.
Acidity is a prevalent problem that dentists are seeing today, largely because of a change in consumer habits. The acidic condition of the mouth may lead to larger problems than a few cavities here and there; it may also weaken gum tissue and wear down enamel across all teeth. Acid works against enamel in the same way that the beating of crashing, salty waves can erode seaside cliffs. The result in your smile may not be as unsightly as eroding nature, but it can lead to problems such as discoloration, sensitivity, and increased risk of infection.
Where Acid Hides
The more we become aware of dental health, the more we realize the impact of certain ingredients. If you were to read the ingredient list on a can of soda, however, what is it that you seek? Sugar content? The use of high-fructose corn syrup? In addition, you also need to be aware of substances like citric acid, ascorbic acid, and other acidic ingredients.
Some of the most surprising places that acid is found is in sports drinks. This is concerning because many children consume this type of beverage on a daily basis. Other culprits of erosion include processed tea beverages and all carbonated beverages, even carbonated water.
Protect your teeth. Drink plain water as often as you can. If you do drink soda or other potentially harmful beverages, use a straw, and swish your mouth with water to wash acid away.
Let us help you guard your smile. Call (310) 822-0202 for your visit to our Marina Del Rey office.