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Tooth Robber

posted: Oct 16, 2007

Sipping on cola is like bathing your mouth in corrosive acid.

The acidity can dissolve the mineral content of the enamel, making the teeth weaker, more sensitive, and more susceptible to decay.

Soda's acidity makes it even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy. By eroding the enamel, soda speeds up the decay process, making it easier for bacteria to enter the teeth.

Savoring soda slowly may damage teeth more than gulping it down.

As soon as you take a sip, it acidifies the saliva, which the body then works to neutralize. If you gulp the whole can, the saliva will return to normal in 20 minutes.

But people don't drink soda that way. They take sips over an hour or an hour and a half, and the mouth stays acidic the entire time. This is particularly an issue for people who drink several sodas a day because they never give their saliva a chance to neutralize.

Several studies, including a University of Michigan analysis of dental checkup data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, confirm that adults who drink three or more sodas a day have up to 62 percent more decayed, missing, and filled teeth than those who drink less.

Sugar-free drinks aren't healthier for your pearly whites, either: There's a myth that diet soda is OK because it's not sugary. Research revealed that diet drinks were nearly as acidic as regular soft drinks, thus they, too, can erode tooth enamel and lead to tooth decay. Experts recommend that drinkers of artificially sweetened beverages switch to the healthiest diet drink of all…..WATER !

Also, frequently consuming and continual snacking of foods with a low pH value, such as fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit, yogurt, honey and raisins can lead to irreversible dental erosion.

Early signs of tooth erosion consist of dentin hypersensitivity. In other words, if hot or cold foods and beverages cause pain or sensitivity this is an indication of tooth erosion. Dentists may also recommend daily use of an OTC fluoridated anti-hypersensitivity toothpaste with a neutral pH to help re-harden softened tooth.

Littner Baker Associates - Dentistry
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