Your dentist has probably warned you about drinking sugary beverages on many occasions. The reason sugar is dangerous is due to the fact that sugar molecules literally feed oral bacteria. When we consume sugar, the bacteria in our mouths immediately begin to feed on its molecules. Providing a food source for bacteria leads to them colonizing as well.
As they feed on sugar, bacteria release acids as a by-product. Acid is dangerous, too. It softens tooth enamel, leaving weak spots in teeth exposed to cavity-causing bacteria.
Tooth decay is troublesome because cavities will only deepen and widen without professional treatment. Deep cavities can lead to the need for root canal therapy and restorations along with the development of painful infections and even tooth loss.
Drinks to Avoid
Sugar can be found in unsuspecting and seemingly healthy sources. Following are drinks you should avoid. If you do consume them, do so in moderation and drink plain water afterwards.
Fruit Juice and Smoothies
While fruit juice and smoothies might have some helpful vitamins and nutrients, they contain sugar. Even without additional sweeteners, the fruits used to make juice and smoothies contain natural sugars. Oral bacteria do not discriminate when it comes to sugar sources.
Adding additional cause for concern is the fact that fruit contains natural acids, too. Acids soften tooth enamel and when paired with sugar consumption, significantly increase the risks for developing dental caries.
Sodas contain sugar and acid. Both of which can weaken teeth and increase the risk for tooth decay. If you do drink soda, be sure to do so in moderation. It’s helpful to drink water afterward to dilute acid and rinse sugar molecules away. You might also want to drink with a straw to push liquid to the back of the mouth and away from the surfaces of teeth.
Sports and Energy Drinks
Clever marketing might make it seem like sports and energy drinks are beneficial to physical performance and health but they are loaded with sugar and acidic ingredients. Water is a much better alternative.
For more information or if it’s time for a checkup, call Fresh Leaf Dental to reserve an appointment with our dentist.