This is a question I get asked often. Some people, who may have some bad eating or home care habits are fortunate enough to go a long time without having a cavity when all of a sudden are told they now have one or more cavities. It always amazes me though when you start to ask about what they eat or drink and soda is usually a part of their history and the patient feels they are immune to the devastating effects it has on teeth. It really is disheartening to see the look on the patient’s face when I have to let them know there has been a change in their mouth.
I don’t think it’s news to anyone that soda is full of sugar, but what I think a lot of people are not considering is the fact that it is loaded with acid and the plaque bacteria in our mouth also turn the sugar into acid as well. Eventually, no matter how long it’s been, the enamel will decay. This is also the case even if you drink a diet soda that doesn’t have the sugar content of regular soda because of the effects of the acid content. Unfortunately the erosion the acid causes on the enamel can be exasperated if the decalcified enamel is mechanically brushed soon after being bathed in soda. It is recommended by the American Dental Association to wait at least 30 minutes after drinking soda before you brush your teeth. I take this recommendation into consideration after I drink anything except water, especially beverages with an acid content. Patients also need to take a look at the sports drinks as well as the energy drinks. They both have a high amount of sugar and the energy drinks are loaded with acid. So please be careful with the amount and how often you are drinking these, especially for children. Primary teeth have a thinner layer of enamel than permanent teeth, so it doesn’t take much before a cavity takes place.
Taking into consideration a healthy diet, minimizing sugary snacks and beverages, brushing with a Fluoride toothpaste and flossing on a daily basis as well as having regular check ups will help reduce the chances of developing a cavity. Visit us soon so we can help keep your mouth healthy!