How Can Sugary Drinks Ruin Your Teeth?
Most of us know sugary drinks and snacks affect our teeth, but unfortunately, we still continue taking them in plenty. Maybe, some continue taking them because they don’t understand the particular dangers of sugary drinks to our teeth. That’s why we decided to write this blog, hoping the information will help you make better decisions. Here’s how sugary drinks affect your teeth.
Typically, our mouths are full of bacteria. There are “good” bacteria that help with digestion, and there are “bad” bacteria that accelerate tooth decay and infections. The “bad” bacteria are highly attracted by sugar.
Once the bad bacteria is active, it leads to toothache, and that’s why toothaches are very common nowadays since we take too much sugar. Washing your mouth a few minutes after taking the sugary drinks can reduce the bacteria effect. Unfortunately, most of us wait till the evening to brush our teeth again.
Dental decay is one of the most common dental problems, and it is especially prevalent among children between the age of six and twelve. Unfortunately, these are the same kids who take sugary snacks and drinks in plenty.
Cavities come as a result of acids attacking the enamel. The acids are formed when the “bad” bacteria meet with starches, carbohydrates, and sugars left in our mouths after eating. Sugary drinks leave a lot of debris on your enamel, and the sugar reacts with bacteria, making cavity-causing acids.
Typically, most sugary drinks often contain some acids. For example, soda and sugary coffee contain a certain amount of acid. Also, when the sugar in them reacts with bacteria, they cause more acids. These acids erode the enamel. Your teeth become more sensitive, and it exposes the yellow dentin underneath the enamel.
Reducing your sugary intake will do more than just protect your teeth. It will also improve your overall health. A study by USDA revealed that at least ten percent of the average man’s calorie intake is from sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks you should avoid include soda, energy drinks, juice, chocolate milk, and smoothies. Instead, take more water, unsweetened tea, diluted fruit juice, and milk. Sugarless drinks will keep you hydrated and decrease the risk of developing cavities. Moreover, tap water usually contains fluoride, which will help protect your enamel and make your teeth stronger.
How to Protect Your Teeth from Effects of Sugary Drinks
While we might want to stop taking sugary drinks once and for all, but it is easier said than done. The only thing we can do is try to reduce the intake as much as possible and take precautions to protect your teeth. Here are a few precautions you should take:
- Take your time to record the number of sugary drinks per week and cut down the number by at least half. If possible, stop taking them altogether.
- Brush your teeth a few minutes after taking the sugary drinks. We recommend brushing teeth thirty minutes after drinking sugary and acidic drinks. Brushing immediately may do more harm than good.
- If you don’t have your toothbrush and toothpaste, then rinse your mouth with clean water to dilute the sugars and brush your teeth as soon as you get home.
- Don’t forget to floss your teeth in the evening to get rid of food particles that may be caught between your teeth.
- Maintain a regular dental checkup program. Ideally, visit your dentist at least twice a year. That way, the dentist can detect decay and infections in their early stages before they cause irreversible damage.
Healthy Foods and Drinks for Healthy Teeth
Taking healthy foods also plays a vital role in preventing cavities and making your teeth stronger. Therefore, as you limit your sugar intake, increase your intake of healthy foods and drinks. Some of these healthy foods include:
- Milk and its products, including cheese and yogurt. Milk products are rich in phosphate, vitamin D, and calcium, which protect and strengthen your teeth.
- Leafy vegetables. Vegetables are full of vitamins and fiber, which are good for your teeth and overall health.
- Eggs are rich in vitamin D.
- Nuts and seeds.
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