There are many popular soft drinks out there. They come in a wide range of flavors and colors, and they are often marketed directly to kids and young people. Do you know the one thing they all have in common? You guessed it: sugar!
A typical 20 oz. soft drink can contain anywhere from 64 to 77 grams of sugar. There are 4.2 grams of sugar in a teaspoon, which means one soft drink can contain more than 18 teaspoons of sugar. Can you imagine feeding your child this much sugar in a single sitting? That’s exactly what is happening when you give them a soda; it’s just not as obvious.
Soda and other sugary soft drinks contain the perfect cocktail for tooth decay: sugar, acid, and carbonation. These three things, especially when combined, can weaken the enamel of your teeth and encourage bacterial growth in your mouth. Oral bacteria, as you probably know, can lead to cavities and gum disease.
Soda, when consumed on a regular basis, can do your mouth more harm than you anticipate. If you Google images for “tooth decay from soda” what you see may change your mind on consuming the beverage ever again — or giving it to your children. Brown teeth and damaged gums are not attractive.
How can you reduce the effects of sugar and soft drinks on your teeth, and on your children’s teeth? Here are some ways to start.
1. Don’t drink soda and soft drinks.
The best way to avoid any type of soda-related tooth damage is to avoid the beverage as much as possible. Give your children water instead. Fruit juice is often just as high in sugar as soft drinks, but if you dilute it with water and only give it on occasion, it can be an acceptable substitute.
2. Drink quickly.
We understand that from time to time, a soda sounds good. Your child may want to indulge at a birthday party or on a holiday. When they do indulge, make sure they drink the soda quickly. Sipping it over a long period of time bathes your teeth in sugar and acid, which can result in damage or decay. Let them have a soda with a meal on a rare occasion, but don’t let them sip one throughout the afternoon.
3. Visit your dentist.
Dental care is so important when it comes to a healthy mouth. Regular visits to the dentist can detect any tooth damage and care for it before it gets worse. Your dentist can also discuss the importance of avoiding soda with your kids. Sometimes, children are more willing when advice comes from the dentist, rather than from their own parents.
When it comes to the ever so tempting soda, just say no! It can introduce a whole new world of problems that you don’t want your children to experience.
Check out this website SipAllDay.org for more information about soda and teeth.
Please call us; we are happy to help any questions you have about soda and soft drinks!