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Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time for barbecues, swimming and coming home to drink a nice, cold soda. Though you may want to think twice about that last one. Many studies show that drinking soda is one of the top sources of cavities and tooth decay.

Why You Shouldn’t Drink Soda

Drinking soda has many effects that can have a harmful impact on the health of your teeth. For one, soda contains high amounts of sugar, and sugar acts as food for the harmful bacteria that grow in your mouth. These bacteria digest sugar and turn it into an acidic byproduct that causes tooth decay and can form cavities after prolonged exposure. Additionally, recent studies have shown that the phosphoric or citric acid contained in most soda has a pH level equivalent to that of battery acid — which means that in addition to the acid produced by bacteria, the acids that exist in soda will be eating away at your teeth as well. Finally, like coffee, many sodas contain substances that stain and yellow your teeth over time. If you can, cutting soda from your diet can be a great way to maintaining a healthy smile.

Tips for Drinking Soda

Regardless of the possible impacts it has on teeth, some people will never quit their soda drinking habits. However, there are ways of drinking soda that can minimize the negative effects it has on dental health:

  • Drink Through a Straw — When you drink through a straw you minimize the amount of soda in contact with your teeth.

  • Don’t Drink Over a Long Period of Time — The faster you drink your soda, the less time the acids in the soda have contact with your teeth.

  • Rinse With Water After Drinking — As simple as it may sound, rinsing with water after drinking soda can mitigate the amount of damage soda can cause to your teeth.

  • Diet Doesn’t Mean Better — Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because a soda is a diet it won’t have the same negative result on your teeth. Diet sodas can have the same negative impact on your dental health.

  • Not All Sodas Are Equal — Some sodas are worse for your teeth than others. In general, colas (i.e. Coke, Pepsi, etc.) tend to be worse for your teeth and sodas with less carbonation, such as root beer, don’t have as negative an effect.

If you have further questions about drinking soda in regards to your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today.