Most people know certain foods and drinks are bad for teeth. Sugary drinks, such as soda/pop and juice, are definitely on this list. Unfortunately, these are often the favorite drinks for kids. When someone has a sugary drink, the sugar latches on the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth eat away at the sugar and then produce acid. Eventually, this acid begins to eat away and weaken the enamel on the teeth, which increases the chances of developing tooth decay.
So what can you do? The best way to reduce the risk of tooth decay caused by sugary drinks is to avoid them when possible. Drinking your calories just doesn’t make good sense, not to mention the damage these high calorie and high sugar beverages can have do to your overall health. Make water the primary drink choice for you and your family, and make sugary drinks only a ‘sometimes’ drink, if at all. After drinking a sugary drink, make sure to rinse with a few drinks of water to flush the mouth and remove as much sugar from the teeth as possible. Using a toothpaste and mouthwash containing fluoride can also help to reduce cavities and strengthen tooth enamel. Seeing a dentist regularly is vitally important, as well.
Remember to “Rethink your Drink” before sipping, and take the time to care for your dental health.
Juli Simpson is a Health Educator with the Meigs County Health Department.