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Think Before You Drink: The Worst Soft Drinks For Your Teeth

Dr Martin Abelar - May 27, 2016 - 0 comments

Soft drinks and other sugary energy drinks account for a large percentage of cavities and tooth decay plaguing Americans, and yet most of us continue to consume them regularly.  Dr. Martin Abelar has the scoop on what makes these drinks bad for your teeth and which drinks are some of the worst offenders.

For tooth decay to occur, there are four key ingredients that contribute to the process:  sugar, acid, oral bacteria, and time.  Soft drinks and energy drinks provide the sugar and the acid; poor dental hygiene habits contribute the oral bacteria.  To minimize the damage caused by your favorite drinks, Dr. Abelar recommends being extra vigilant about brushing and flossing, and upping your game to making sure that you brush after every drink.  This way you eliminate the time element.

Additionally, many dentists recommend reducing the time these drinks are working on your teeth by using a straw, and gulping the drink down fast instead of slowly sipping over time. The sugars and acids in the drink work on your teeth in a chemical process that lasts about 20 minutes, and each new sip restarts the process. The worst drinks for your teeth are low in acid and high in sugar. 

Here is a list of some of the worst offenders:

  Mountain Dew
Full Throttle
Sunkist Orange Soda
Dr. Pepper
 Red Bull
Sierra Mist
 SoBe Energy Citrus
Minute Maid Orange Juice

If you just can’t sacrifice these drinks and don’t have the opportunity to brush afterward, there is one last thing you can do to mitigate the damage.  Chewing a Xylitol based gum immediately after you drink can help restore the proper acidic balance in your mouth and help produce saliva to carry the sugar away.

Additionally, don’t forget to keep up with your twice yearly professional cleanings, and make sure to brush and floss at least twice daily.  To schedule a professional cleaning with Dr. Abelar, contact our office at 858-866-9692.

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