Fizzy drinks have both sugar and acid. These cause catastrophic damage to dental enamel, the hard protective surface of your teeth.
Acid is a problem for our teeth as it weakens the enamel of our teeth, leaving them vulnerable to damage. Every time we eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on our teeth becomes softer for a short while and it loses some of its mineral content.
Our saliva will slowly cancel out this acidity and get our mouth back to its natural balance. However, if this acid attack happens too often, our mouth does not get the chance to recover. This could result in slowly losing our enamel.
Enamel is the hard, protective coating of our tooth, which protects the sensitive dentine underneath. When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity.
The most common types of acid in our food and drink are carbonic acids, citric acids and phosphoric acids. These are the acids that weaken our enamel, leading to dental erosion..
‘Fizziness’ is often a tell-tale sign of an acidic drink. The most common of these are fizzy drinks, sodas, pops and carbonated drinks. It is important to remember that even the ‘diet’ brands are still harmful. Even flavoured fizzy waters can have an effect if drunk in large amounts, as they contain weak acids which can harm our teeth.
Some alcohol is also acidic. Beer, cider, prosecco, white wine and alcopops are all example of alcoholic drinks that are highly erosive for our teeth.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says: “The best way for us to avoid the damage caused by fizzy drinks is to simply limit our exposure to them. Only having acidic drinks at mealtimes is a great way to reduce the amount to which our mouth is under an acid attack.
“Another tip is to swallow our drink quickly, without holding it in our mouth or ‘swishing’ it around. Again, it’s all about reducing the amount of time our teeth are being exposed to acid. An alternative is to use a straw. This helps drinks go to the back of our mouth and avoids long contact with our teeth.”
“Plain, still water is the best drink for our teeth. Milk is also good because it helps to neutralise acids in our mouth.”
Sugar in your diet, even from drinks, causes dental decay. Decay is the leading cause for tooth loss in young people in the UK.
Dental de ay is completely preventable, but just being aware of what sugar in present in what you eat and drink.
In fizzy drinks, there is upto 11g of sugar in each portion. This is a whopping amount for your teeth to cope with. If you are having these drinks everyday, or even worse more than once a day, your teeth will exceed thier capacity for repair and cavities will from from decay
Keep fizzy drinks as a treat, and only have them at mealtimes, to reduce the impact they have. Switch to sugar free alternatives, or better still, invest in a reusable water bottle, and make water your drink choice from now on!!
Oral health educator
Why not make an appointment with our oral health educator, Beth or one of our experienced dentists, who will discuss with you how your sugar and acid intake can be changed to improve your oral health. As a new dentist in Scarbrough, we are pasionate about improving the oral health of you and your family.
We’re here to help, and to make you smile.