If you want to prevent tooth decay, what do you need to do? Avoid sugar, right? As long as you’re not eating or drinking a bunch of sugar your teeth will be just fine. Or will they?
True enough, sugar is one of the biggest contributors to tooth decay, but it is not the only one. If all you do to protect your teeth is cut out snacks and drinks that contain sugar, then you are still at risk for tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria and acid are also major causes of oral health ailments, and avoiding sugar alone won’t stop those.
Many foods items make health claims based on the fact that they are sugar free, but when it come to your oral health, sugar free doesn’t necessarily mean good for your teeth. Diet soda, for example, has no sugar, but it is still very bad for your teeth.
Here at Plano Smile Studio, we want you to be able to take care of your teeth, and to make informed decisions about what you put in your body. But in order to make informed decisions, you have to have the information. So, let’s take a look at what diet sodas do to your teeth, and what really causes tooth decay.
Tooth Decay Is Caused by Bacteria
The real culprit behind tooth decay is a form of bacteria called dental caries. This bacteria loves to hang out in your mouth, and passed down from parent to child, usually by sharing spoons. Dental caries feed on sugar, which is where our sweet old friend there comes in. The bacteria converts the sugar into a corrosive acid that eats away at the enamel that protects your teeth. This is what causes cavities, which are fairly easy to treat, as long as they are caught early. If tooth decay is not treated right away, it can eat all the way to the center of the tooth, or pulp, where tiny blood vessels and nerves keep the tooth alive. If the dental caries get all the way to your pulp, an infection could set in and you could lose your tooth and put your health at risk.
The Acid In Diet Soda Will Rot Your Teeth
What diet sodas lack in sugar they make up for in acid. Most diet sodas contain both phosphoric and citric acids to punch up the flavor and enhance the carbonation. Unfortunately, these acids are corrosive and will weaken your tooth enamel.
Phosphoric Acid – This acid, although it occurs naturally in many foods, is very corrosive. So much so that it is often used to strip rust from metal. Anything used for something like that can’t be good for your teeth. Not only does phosphoric acid weaken your enamel, it also inhibits your body’s absorption of calcium, which is used to remineralize, or repair, your tooth enamel. So phosphoric acid not only damages your teeth, it stops them from healing themselves.
Citric Acid – This is one of the most commonly used flavoring additives you can find. It is used in both regular and diet sodas, as well as fruit juices and sports drinks. This is also a very corrosive acid. So, if you think you’re safe from tooth decay because you only drink fruit juice and vitamin water, you’d better think again. There’s almost certainly citric acid in there.
Drink Water and Then Drink Some More
The only thing that is safe to drink all day is water. Water will rinse away harmful bacteria and sugar, while neutralizing acid. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, so you never have to go thirsty.
And don’t forget regular cleanings and examinations from Plano Smile Studio. Healthy teeth mean a healthy body, so don’t wait.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.