If you have experienced problems with keeping your teeth free of decay, it could be due to more than just the foods that you eat. The drinks that you consume also play a large role in tooth decay. Here is the reason you should avoid soda if you would like to protect the health of your teeth. In addition, here are a few alternatives to the decay-causing drink:
Why You Should Avoid Sodas
Carbonated drinks are quite acidic. In fact, one study indicates that tooth enamel, when left in soda for 48 hours, can lose up to five percent of its total weight.
Sodas, such as colas, can have a pH that hovers around 2.5. Acids have a pH that is lower than 7.0. Battery acid's pH is about 1.0.
The most caustic acids have a pH that is closest to zero. Thus, the higher the pH, the weaker the acid.
Tooth decay often occurs because of tooth enamel's exposure to acid. This exposure results in the demineralization of the enamel. As minerals are leached from the tooth enamel, the dissolution of the enamel results in the weakening of your teeth. Holes or cavities are more likely to form once the enamel is compromised. Thus, it is important is limit your dental exposure to acids, such as those found in soda.
Alternatives to Sodas
Instead of soda, choose drinks that are healthy for your teeth, such as black or green tea. Studies show that tea contains antimicrobial properties that fight oral bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus, which are known to promote tooth decay. Sweetening the tea with xylitol or flavoring it with cinnamon increases its antimicrobial abilities. Xylitol is antibacterial, and so is cinnamon.
Of course, you can also choose water as a substitute for soda. Water helps to dilute the acid in your mouth, as it flushes away bacteria and food particles. In addition, most tap water contains fluoride, which helps harden tooth enamel to prevent tooth decay. As minerals such as calcium and phosphate are dissolved, the tooth enamel is weakened. However, fluoride draws the minerals back to the teeth. This remineralization process results in tooth material that is even harder than it originally was.
To learn more ways to protect your teeth, schedule a consultation with a dentist (such as McMillin Jeff DDS) in your area. He or she can assess the state of your teeth and prescribe a customized dental program specifically for your oral health needs.