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Sugary Drinks and Your Teeth

Why That Soda Habit May Be Costing More Than a Few Dollars a Day

Regularly consuming sugary drinks can have lasting effects on your oral and overall health. Most people know that soda and other sugary beverages aren’t good for them, but they don’t think as much about the effect their sodas could be having on their enamel. Sugar causes tooth decay. Drinking sugary drinks regularly can dramatically increase a patient’s risk for dental caries. Caries can lead to costly oral problems and sugary drinks have an impact on a patient’s overall health as well

What Constitutes a Sugary Drink?

Soda may be the main offender, but it isn’t the only drink that falls under this category. Presweetened teas and coffees, horchatas, fruit juices, sports drinks, and energy drinks can all contain more sugar than you may be aware you’re consuming. It is important to always check the label of your beverage and note the amount sugars added.

What may be just as surprising or more is how many beverages may be safer than others. If you sweeten your tea with honey, for example, you can enjoy a sweeter beverage with less risk than if you bought an already-sweet tea.

How Much Sugar Should I Be Consuming?

The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugars per day. This is a hard guideline to follow because even one can of soda could put you well over your sugar limit, but for diligent patients, it is entirely possible. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines suggest limiting sugars to 50 grams, about double the WHO’s recommendation, but even this guideline can be hard to follow for patients who love drinks like Sprite and Mountain Dew.

What Can I Do?

Everyone is a little different.  If you are a frequent soda consumer, you may want to make achievable goals that could decrease your soda intake. At our practice, we do our best to endorse and support healthy life changes and choices.  We also recommend drinking water and brushing your teeth after sugar consumption.

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