When it comes to tips for improving your health, there’s no shortage of information on what you should and shouldn’t consume. Furthermore, with so much information available, it’s hard to sift through it all to determine what is factual. One myth that you may have heard is that diet soda is less harsh on your teeth than a regular soft drink. As you read on, your dentist will explain why that idea is inaccurate and will provide ways to improve your oral health.
Diet vs. Regular Soda
One of the reasons people assume that diet soda is better than a regular drink is that an alternative sweetener is used. It’s important to read the labels, though. That’s because some of the alternatives (aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, etc.) can sometimes be just as detrimental to your oral health as ingesting large amounts of sugar.
Even the options that are considered to be healthier like stevia and xylitol have limits on how much can be consumed before you experience some of their toxic effects.
The Carbonation Problem
There is a common denominator shared between all types of soda that transcends the sugar content – carbonation. Not only does sugar make sodas acidic and destructive to your teeth, the carbonation process does as well. Thus, when you drink a soda, the liquid clings to your teeth and over time wears down your enamel – the hard, outer surface of your ivories. This not only makes your teeth more sensitive, it also makes them more vulnerable to decay.
If I Drink a Soda, How Can I Protect My Teeth?
Now that you know that you’re standing on fairly equal ground when it comes to drinking sodas of any kind, how can you protect yourself if you decide to indulge? The best way to prevent any harmful effects is to brush your teeth immediately after drinking a soda to remove the sugars before they have the opportunity to attract bacteria. For situations where you aren’t able to brush your teeth, you can rinse with mouthwash to rid your oral cavity of any lingering debris.
How Visiting Your Dentist Pays Off
If you have a weakness for sodas, it’s even more important to maintain semi-annual visits with your local dentist for cleanings and checkups. The former will ensure that any built-up plaque and tartar are removed, while the examinations will allow your local professional to assess the condition of your oral health.
Whether you’re drinking a regular or diet soda, keep in mind that moderation is always important. Therefore, if you decide to indulge from time to time, you can worry less about any lasting negative effects.
To schedule a preventive care appointment, reach out to your dentist today!
About the Author
Dr. Melanie White earned her DDS degree from the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. Since then, she’s gained experience in a variety of professional roles, while completing several hours of continuing education courses. Dr. White provides her patients with the absolute best in care at Grove Family Dental and can be reached for more information through her website.