If you’re someone who frequently consumes carbonated colas and soft drinks, beware. These drinks can be harmful to your teeth. This is because acids in these drinks may dissolve your teeth’ minerals. This process is called chemical erosion. Likewise, sports and high-energy drinks are no different than sodas. These drinks also contain acids that can dissolve your teeth’ enamel. Once your enamel is gone, it’s gone forever. You cannot naturally recover it.
Sadly, it’s worse for children and teenagers. This is because people of this age group tend to consume large amounts of soda and juices, which can easily erode their teeth. Moreover, these youngsters don’t have long-term exposure to fluorides. And so, their tooth enamel is less hardened and less protected from acid erosion.
Let’s take a look at the difference between chemical erosion and tooth decay.
The Difference between Erosion and Decay
Chemical erosion is different from tooth decay. In the former, acids in your mouth directly affect the minerals in your tooth enamel. On the other hand, tooth decay is caused by bacteria film formed on your teeth. These bacteria feed on sugars (present in the drinks) and produce acids that damage teeth.
When to Brush Your Teeth after Acidic Exposure?
After consuming an acidic drink, wait for 30 minutes to an hour before brushing. Most people often think that brushing their teeth immediately after consuming an acidic drink can prevent chemical erosion. However, this will only make it worse. Tooth brushing right after acidic exposure can actually boost the process of chemical erosion. After your teeth are exposed to acids, minerals in your tooth surface get partially dissolved. If you wait for half an hour or an hour, your saliva will have time to add minerals back to your teeth and neutralize the acids.
Alternate Drinks that are less likely to Cause Dental Erosion
Instead of consuming sports drinks and colas, choose water and milk. These alternate drinks have the added benefit of giving calcium that helps add minerals back to your tooth surface. If you can’t avoid juices or soft drinks completely, make sure you only drink them at mealtimes. This is better than drinking all day long, which gives constant acidic exposure to your teeth.
Additionally, you should avoid swishing these acidic drinks in your mouth. Make sure to sip them with a straw. This way, you will reduce damage to your teeth from soft drinks.
Other ways to reduce damage to your teeth from soft drinks
Giving up on soft drinks forever can be extremely difficult for most people. So following are some measures that you can take to reduce the contact between your teeth and acidic drinks.
Don’t sip all-day
Like said earlier, you should avoid or at least lessen the exposure to the acids and sugars in soft drinks. Moreover, sip your drinks with straws and don’t swish around your mouth.
Rinse your mouth with water
After having a drink, rinse your mouth with some water. This will help wash away any remaining acids and sugars; thus, preventing them from attacking your teeth.
Get Regular Dental Checkups
Letting your dentist see your oral health will help them identify the problem at an early stage. For this reason, feel free to visit the dentist in Baytown. Our team is ready to help you.