Are Soft Drinks Spoiling Your Smile?

Consumption of soft drinks in this country has increased 300 percent over the last 20 years, according to the American Dental Association. What do you think all of that sugar might be doing to your teeth?

In the 1950s, a serving size of soda was 185 grams; in the 1990s, that number increased to 500 grams. That evens out to approximately 10 to 12 teaspoons of sugar per can. Would you eat 10 teaspoons of sugar in one sitting? Would you do this four or five times a day?

The Stage is Set for Oral Health Consequences

Some teenagers consume as many as 12 soft drinks daily, according to the Journal of the Minnesota Dental Association. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service reports that at least one in five young people consumes a minimum of four servings of soda a day. Factor in today’s generous serving sizes – and a new generation’s dependence on popular energy drinks as well as soda – and it’s not hard to see why oral health consequences are a serious threat.

Long-term high consumption of high-sugar drinks has a cumulative effect on tooth enamel. So it follows that the older you get, the more likely you will be to experience cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, or other oral health problems.

Beyond Sugar

But it isn’t just sugar that’s contributing to tooth decay. The carbonic and phosphoric acid in some sodas can dissolve the calcium from your enamel. This leads to softened teeth which are now well-primed for destructive bacteria. The effect of these ingredients also means that drinking sugar-free soda doesn’t lessen the harmful effect of soft drinks.

If you’ve convinced yourself that afternoon can of soda is a necessary pick-me-up, that you need to sip on that bottle of pop to keep you going throughout the day, it’s time to rethink your habits for the sake of your overall well-being, not just that of your teeth.

Whatever oral health problems you’re suffering, whether brought on by high soda consumption or not, Dr. Ken Cirka and his Philadelphia dental office can help restore your smile. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

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