Phone: 704-334-7204 | Fax: 704-543-7225 | E-mail: info@ckbraces.com | Directions
Why Is Soda Bad for Your Teeth: The Science of Soda and Tooth Decay

Why Is Soda Bad for Your Teeth: The Science of Soda and Tooth Decay

  1. Americans drink an astounding 7.5 billion gallons of soda every year. Half all Americans have a soda every day.

This is great news for the soft drink industry. Unfortunately, it is terrible news for your general health and the health of your teeth. So, really, why is soda bad for your teeth?

Keep reading to find out.

Anatomy of a Tooth

First, you need to understand the makeup of the tooth. It’s comprised of four components

Enamel

This substance covers the part of the tooth that you see in your mouth. This, believe it or not, is the hardest substance in the body. It’s also somewhat transparent.

The enamel represents your tooth’s first line of defense against an attack. Enamel handles biting pressure without a problem. Yet, once its fully formed, it can’t regrow any more.

If the enamel comes under attack, it can become porous. This results from minor demineralization that can damage the tooth.

Good news. Teeth can re-harden or remineralize, with proper nutrition and care. This can stop damage called tooth decay.

Dentin

The dentin makes up the layer below the enamel. Dentin isn’t as hard as enamel.

Dentin comprises a large part of the tooth. It contains microscopic tubes called dentinal tubules.  

There are different types of dentin:

  • Primary dentin makes up newly erupted teeth
  • Secondary dentin keeps forming throughout the life of your tooth.

Your strategic secret is that you have reparative dentin in your arsenal. This forms when there is swelling, irritation, or trauma to the tooth.

When decay gets through the enamel to the dentin, decay moves quickly through the tooth. This is why you must help enamel stand its ground.

Cementum

The root of the tooth is covered by cementum. This part of the tooth is very thin and softer than enamel. It’s about as hard as bone.

Bristles of a stiff toothbrush can damage the cementum. If your gums begin to shrink or receded, the cementum becomes exposed. This cementum becomes sensitive to hot and cold temperatures.

Pulp

The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels that supply the tooth. This must be protected at all costs.

If decay invades the pulp, a bacterial infection can occur. You may need to undergo a root canal to save the tooth.

Anatomy of Soda

The smart warrior learns everything they can about their enemy. So, why do teeth need to worry about soda? It tastes great to the tongue.

Exactly who is the enemy? All sugar-sweetened beverages. It’s not only about soda anymore.

This means all drinks containing:

  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • Corn syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltose
  • Molasses
  • Raw sugar
  • Sucrose

Examples of sugar-sweetened drinks include:

  • Regular soda
  • Fruit drinks
  • Sports drinks
  • Energy drinks
  • Sweetened waters
  • Juice
  • Coffee
  • Sweet tea

There are so many enemies. What’s left to drink?

Why Is Soda Bad for Your Teeth?

When sugar enters your mouth, the battle for your teeth begins. With every sip, an acid attack begins that lasts 20 minutes. Wait, where did the acid come in?

Your mouth contains bacteria that eat the sugar in your mouth. The bacteria become energized by the sugar and produce acid. The acidic foods wear down your enamel’s defenses.

When your line of defense fails, decay and cavities form in your teeth causing cavities.

How Can You Win the Battle?

The ultimate plan to win this battle would be to stop drinking all sugary drinks. But, don’t panic. You can protect your teeth by decreasing the amount of sugar and acid they must battle.

Try making lower sugar choices:

  • Instead of soda, have water
  • Instead of an energy drink, have unsweetened tea
  • Instead of chocolate milk, have white milk
  • Instead of a smoothie, have a plain sparkling or sugar-free water
  • Instead of juice or fruit punch, have sugar-free or diluted juice

There are even more strategies to help you fight the battle:

  • Drink, don’t sip: sipping keeps the sugar in your mouth longer
  • Try to drink your beverage in one sitting instead of overtime (remember the 20-minute acid attack at every sip)
  • Fluoride fortification: drink tap water if your city water is fluoridated
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss between your teeth at least once a day
  • Visit your dentist about every 6 months so they can clean off the plaque and check for decay

Understanding why is soda bad for your teeth allows you to identify the enemy’s plan of attack. Knowing how to recognize the sugar-sweetened drink enemies helps you select friendly allies in the fight for your teeth.

Establishing good habits at a young age is imperative. Help your children learn to like the taste of tap water and sugar-free waters or juices. Avoid artificial sweeteners, though, as they can pose other health risks.

Set a positive example in your family. Practice making healthy choices and routine dental care.

Oral hygiene is not just about having white teeth. Oral health impacts your total body health. This includes the risk of heart disease, infections, sepsis, nutrition, and even death.

Join with your dentist and dental hygienist in the fight for great dental health.

Are You Concerned About Your Dental Health?

Our office wants you to have the healthy smile of your dreams. We treat patients of all ages. You will find information about overbites and a variety of orthodontic options available.

If this article helped you learn why is soda bad for your teeth, continue checking out our site today. We want you to have a healthy, happy smile.

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

What Do You Do with Leftover Halloween Candy?

November is here which means Thanksgiving and the Holiday season is fast approaching. While you’re decorating and planning meals for the holidays though, chances are you probably have leftover Halloween Candy that you’ve been snacking on. Before you eat the whole bowl of candy on your coffee table, consider these tips to finishing off that candy in a mindful way.

Limit Halloween Candy Before Bed

Eating candy right before bed is bad for many reasons. The sugar that is in candy is likely to keep you up later than you want, but it will also do damage to your teeth. Sugars can linger on your teeth overnight and cavities are more likely to form. If you do get a sweet tooth at night, try limiting yourself to one piece and make sure to brush your teeth right after. Flossing will do even more to make sure all candy residue is gone from your teeth. Additionally, rinsing with mouthwash will help to wash away lingering food particles.

Candies to NEVER Eat

Although a lot of candy isn’t good for anyone’s dental hygiene or diet, it’s natural to indulge in a few treats during this time of the year. With that being said though, there are some candies that you should avoid entirely. Candy that contains chocolate and peanut butter and other things that resemble actual food is better than candies that are made entirely of pure sugar. Fruit flavored candies, similar to Skittles, are made up of enormous amounts of sugar, cornstarch and chemicals like “tapioca dextrin” and “titanium dioxide,” which is not only bad for your diet, but can wreak havoc on your oral health. Excess sugar leads to tooth decay because sugars break down your tooth enamel over time due to sugar’s acidic nature. So while a Milky Way isn’t the healthiest option, it can be the better option for your teeth if you do get a chocolate craving.

 

Avoid candy that is crunchy as well, especially if you wear braces. Candy with nuts like Payday, or something that is sticky like caramel may be hard on the teeth and braces. Biting into something crunchy can break off brackets or wires and can ruin braces, leading to more orthodontic work being done. Talk to your Charlotte orthodontist if you have concerns about what specific candies and foods to avoid during the season.

Store Candy in a Mindful Place

Most Halloween candy will be good for six months to a year. So feel free to keep a little candy around to avoid purchasing even more sweets when you’re at the grocery. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to be intentional with where you store your Halloween candy. Try storing candy in a central location. This will help keep candy consumption on a regular schedule. Storing candy in a jar in the kitchen would be a good idea to keep consumption to a schedule after meals.

At Case Orthodontics, we are here to keep your smile happy and healthy while enjoying all the treats that this time of year has to offer. If you do happen to run into any orthodontic problems contact us! We offer orthodontic services for children and adults alike.

 

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month!

October is National Dental Hygiene Month

Aside from fall festivals and Trick-or-Treating, October is also National Dental Hygiene Month – a time to refocus on healthy oral hygiene habits, as individuals and as families. A great way to implement healthy dental hygiene in your kids is to practice these good habits as a family! Case Orthodontics in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, has gathered a list of four healthy routines to focus on: brushing, flossing, chewing and rinsing.

Brushing

As a family, you’ve probably talked to your child about the importance of regular brushing, but it’s important to talk about the way to brush teeth. Bad brushing habits can be harmful to teeth in the long run, even if you can’t see the immediate effects. Even as parents, this aspect of teeth brushing can be overlooked. Follow these tips:

  • Brush with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums
  • Use short strokes in back and forth motion
  • Brush all surfaces of your teeth – outer, inner, and chewing surfaces.
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria that can linger there and ensure fresh breath
  • Never brush too hard – this can cause enamel to wear down over time

Flossing

Flossing may be the hardest part of oral hygiene to practice, simply because it’s easy to forget about. Flossing helps to remove bits of food that can linger in between and behind teeth, and just a toothbrush won’t always remove them. If these food particles are not removed, this leads to the buildup of plaque, and cavities will form. A good tip for flossing is trying to first implement flossing at the end of the day before bed. Try flossing as a family and teach your smaller children the best way to floss.  To remind your family to floss, try setting dental floss out on your nightstand or bathroom sink.

If your child wears braces, it is even more important to floss to remove food particles. Waxed floss is best to move easier around braces. Your Charlotte orthodontist or dental hygienist can show your child the best way to floss with braces.

Chewing

Chewing is an important part of your dental hygiene. Obviously, what you chew has a big effect on your teeth. It’s important to stay away from foods that are too hard or crunchy, as this can chip teeth. Additionally, you want to avoid acidic foods that can wear down your enamel over time. There is something you can chew, though – sugarless gum. According to MouthHealthy.org, chewing sugarless gum can provide great benefits to your teeth by increasing the flow of saliva. Saliva helps to wash away food debris and can neutralize acids in the mouth caused by bacteria. Additionally, saliva contains calcium and phosphate that strengthens tooth enamel. Look for sugarless gum with the American Dental Association Seal to be sure it’s safe to chew.

Rinsing

Rinsing with a cosmetic or therapeutic mouthwash can further help with excellent oral hygiene by improving bad breath and killing bacteria. Killing bacteria helps to prevent bad breath, plaque, tooth decay, and gingivitis. If you have concerns about what types of mouthwash to use, look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. Additionally, use a child’s mouthwash if you have small children. Using a mouthwash is another way your family can practice good dental care together.

At Case Orthodontics, we believe good dental hygiene is essential to overall health and help improve orthodontics care. We offer child and adult orthodontic treatment as well as braces and Invisalign. We serve the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. Contact us to schedule an appointment!