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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

Think about how many times per day you rely on your teeth. You use them to chew breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. You press your tongue against them to make certain sounds when you speak. There's really no doubt about it — your teeth are important, and they deserve your respect. You can pay them that respect by visiting your dentist for regular cleaning and checkup appointments. You should also call at the first sign of dental pain, tooth discoloration, or other oral health changes. Read more about dentists and dentistry here on this blog, where we dive deep into related topics.

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Show Your Teeth Some Respect

5 Reasons Sugary Sodas Are Bad For Your Teeth

by April Myers

A cold soda seems like a treat on a warm day. You may even reach for a soda if you need a little boost in energy from the caffeine and sugar. Most people realize drinking too many sugary sodas can lead to weight gain. However, you might not realize how consuming them may negatively impact your teeth. Below are five reasons sugary sodas are bad for your teeth.

1. Sugar Feeds Bad Bacteria

All mouths contain many types of bacteria. Unfortunately, studies have shown that some harmful bacteria thrive when they digest sugar. They form communities on your teeth called plaque. The plaque keeps the bacteria in contact with tooth enamel long enough to exploit weakness and cause decay. Meanwhile, the bacteria produce acids that remove minerals from your tooth's enamel.

2. Acidic Environments Promote Tooth Decay

The bacteria aren't the only ones causing the acidic environment. Most carbonated beverages such as sodas are acidic. Indeed, soft drink makers often add phosphoric acid to produce a sharp flavor characteristic of many sodas. Phosphoric acid can withdraw calcium from bones and impact tooth enamel. The acidic environment can cause holes in the teeth and thus an area for bacteria to enter.

3. Caffeine Dries Out the Mouth

Your mouth has a natural system to wash away the bacteria and re-mineralize the teeth — saliva. Unfortunately, many sodas are caffeinated, which is why a lot of people reach for them in the first place. Caffeine is a mild diuretic, which rids the body of fluids, including saliva. So, your mouth has become an acidic environment, but you no longer have the cleansing force of your saliva.

4. Artificial Colors Can Stain Teeth

The demineralization process causes the shiny part of teeth to go away, which is a process called etching. What's left behind is a rough surface with microscopic holes. Saliva can re-mineralize the surface. Before that happens, though, the artificial colors in some sodas might have a chance to adhere to that rough surface. Plaque on the surface can also bind to the pigments.

5. Overconsumption of Sugar Can Hurt the Gums

Sugary beverages boost the sugar in your blood. That boost is part of the reason you feel energized after consuming a soda. However, high blood sugar can have a negative impact on your gum health, which also impacts your teeth's health. What's more, too much sugar intake makes it difficult for your body's immune system to fight off the inflammation-causing bacteria in your mouth.

Try to avoid sugary sodas, and make regular visits to your family dentist to promote your oral health.

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