All the commercials and promotions that discuss tooth decay and how to prevent it often focus on sugary snacks and the products that can counteract decay, but what you rarely hear about is how acidic and sugary drinks can cause as much, if not more, damage to the enamel protecting your teeth.
Common foods and beverages that contribute to decay include:
- Sugary snacks – especially sticky ones
- Highly acidic foods
- Starchy foods
- Acidic energy drinks, juices, and sodas
Sugary Snacks and Dental Decay
The reason why sugary snacks are so detrimental to your teeth is because they provide the preferred fuel for bacteria to reproduce rapidly. One of the byproducts of bacteria growth is an acidic environment. These acids soften the enamel that protects your tooth and cause damage.
Once bacteria work their way through your enamel into your dentin, decay can happen quickly. Severe decay can lead to pain, infection, and tooth loss, and it often spreads to adjacent teeth.
The Double Risk of Sugary Drinks
Soda and energy drinks create a bigger problem because they pose the double whammy of already being acidic in nature as well as providing the sugary fuel that bacteria need to thrive. Regular consumption of soda and energy drinks can cause rampant tooth damage and decay. Almost all sodas and energy drinks are acidic in nature.
By eliminating these unnecessary drinks from your diet, you can prolong the life of your teeth and reduce your dental costs.
Other Ways to Prevent Decay
Prevention is the best medicine. You can prevent dental decay with a few simple steps and your commitment to your smile.
- Brush your teeth twice daily
- Change your toothbrush often
- Use fluoride toothpaste
- Floss between your teeth
- Schedule regular dental cleanings
- Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish treatments and dental sealants
If you suspect you have dental decay or would like to see a dentist who can help you stay on track to excellent oral health, contact our Mt. Pleasant, SC dental office and we will help you achieve a comfortable, healthy smile.