It’s no secret that sugary foods and drinks are detrimental to your oral health — too many sweet treats can increase your risk of issues like tooth decay and dental erosion. But did you know that certain sugar-free drinks can also cause damage to your oral health? Drinks like sugar-free soda, sports drinks and citrus fruit juices tend to be very acidic and can cause tooth erosion over time. Read on to find out how sugar-free drinks can damage your teeth and what you can do to maintain your oral health…
Many sugar-free beverages like diet sodas, citrus fruit juices and sports drinks are high in acid. The acidic nature of these drinks makes them harmful to the teeth, as they cause dental erosion, which can lead to tooth decay.
Sugar-free drinks also tend to contain phosphoric acid, an ingredient that is also found in regular soda. Other harmful ingredients found in many sugar-free drinks include citric acid and tartaric acid. If you drink acidic beverages often, these acids may weaken your enamel over time, which can lead to problems like tooth decay and cavities.
For the sake of your oral health, it is best to enjoy sugary and acidic drinks in moderation only. Try and drink plenty of water every day to keep you hydrated. If you feel like something different from time to time, try some milk — it’s packed with calcium and can help to remineralise weakened enamel. Another non-acidic option is unsweetened tea. Many types of tea contain antioxidants and fluoride, a naturally-occurring mineral that helps strengthen the enamel and protect the teeth against decay and erosion.
If you want to drink a sugar-free beverage from time to time, do so with a meal rather than sipping continuously throughout the day. You should also consider using a straw as this helps to minimise your teeth’s exposure to harmful acids.
Besides limiting your consumption of sugary and acidic drinks, it is important that you practice proper oral hygiene every day. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss daily to keep your teeth and gums healthy and clean. Rinse your mouth with water after an acidic or sugary drink, and try and wait an hour after eating and drinking acidic foods and beverages before you brush your teeth — brushing too soon can spread acids and damage your enamel.
At Kitchener Street Dental, we encourage our patients to come in and see us for regular dental check-ups. This will allow us to pick up on any issues like tooth erosion or decay at an early stage. Our team is also happy to address any questions you have about your nutrition, lifestyle habits and oral hygiene routine.
We also offer fluoride treatments, which help to strengthen the teeth and prevent decay. If you are concerned about dental erosion, you may benefit from a fluoride application. To find out more about our routine maintenance visits, please have a look here.
If you would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We love helping our patients achieve and maintain healthy, strong teeth and beautiful smiles.
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