Americans love their soft drinks, and according to one study about 48% of people drink it every single day. Although most people realize that soda can leave behind sugary residues which can fuel painful and unsightly dental decay, many folks have a rough time parting ways with their favorite beverages. Fortunately, you might not have to give up that glass of cola to keep your teeth healthy. Here are three ways to keep soda from ruining your smile, without eliminating soft drinks from your diet.
1: Use a Straw
If you love crisp, cold root beer, nothing is better than drinking straight out of a frosty mug. Unfortunately, as those delightful bubbles dance around inside of your mouth, they are also bathing the entirety of your dental structures with sugar. Simple carbohydrates like sugar provide a food source for the bacteria that live in your mouth. As these bacteria grow and multiply, they produce acids that can dissolve your dental enamel and leave your teeth susceptible to decay.
However, you might be able to drink your favorite soda without coating all of your teeth by using a simple straw. When you suck through a straw, the majority of soda is deposited onto your tongue before you swallow it. In addition to keeping the soda from contacting all of your teeth, using a straw can also limit the amount of time that soda sits in your mouth, which can reduce damage.
Experts recommend never allowing the straw to rest on dental surfaces, and to keep the end positioned towards the back of your mouth. If you really want to keep those teeth healthy, dentists recommend drinking soda quickly, and avoiding daylong sip-fests. Ask your general dentist from a place like Valley Oak Dental Group Inc for more ideas.
2: Don't Ignore Your Ice Water
When you sit down at a restaurant, most waiters bring out an icy cold glass of water. Because most people like a fun little refresher to cleanse their palate, they might decide to order up a tasty drink instead of that boring old water. However, you might be able to use that H2O to wash away the sugars and acids that your favorite drinks left behind.
Instead of ignoring that ice water, drink the entire glass when you are finished with your meal. In addition to giving you an extra dose of hydration, you can also rinse your teeth clean and eliminate sugary buildup. If you are full, swish a little ice water around your mouth before swallowing it in order to achieve the same result.
3: Chew Sugar-free Gum
Believe it or not, soda is incredibly acidic. In fact, on a scale of 0-7 with 0 being the most acidic and 7 being the least acidic, cola usually ranges between 2.3-2.5, while water is a 7. In case you were wondering, battery acid is rated at a 1. The acids present in soda can weaken your dental enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to problems.
However, if you love your soda, you might be able to neutralize these acids by chewing sugar-free gum. When you chew gum, it prompts saliva production, which helps to buffer acids. Because saliva contains bicarbonate, which naturally neutralizes acids, more spit usually means healthier teeth.
To keep acid levels at bay and to keep your teeth beautiful, try to chew a stick of sugar-free gum for about twenty minutes after you eat a meal or drink sugary beverages. Not only will gum help to fend off dental decay, but it will also give you fresh breath after meals, which everyone around you might appreciate.
Being familiar with the simple ways to keep soda from impacting your teeth might help you to keep those pearly whites gleaming without giving up your favorite things.