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Value your pearly whites? Enjoy the appearance of your smile? Then, it is in your best interest to stop drinking soda.

Soda is a delicious treat. However, many people drink soda on a consistent basis. Most individuals don’t just stop with one! Some people may drink soda throughout the day to alleviate stress or to stay more alert. Drinking soda in this manner is highly likely to damage your teeth.

Dental hygiene involves much more than just desiring a pearly white smile. Dental hygiene also involves the food you eat which can, in turn, affect your overall health. For example, poor dental hygiene is highly correlated with heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

So, why does soda taste so good? For starters, the sugar content in soda activates the reward center of the brain. This can explain why we reach for other sugary substances, like donuts instead of broccoli, as a treat.  The carbonation in soda is also appealing to many people. The carbonation provides a sense of refreshment you can’t receive from uncarbonated drinks.

However, you may want to learn more about why drinking is so bad for your teeth and reconsider your soda drinking habit!

Protecting Your Pearly Whites

Habits can be difficult to break, but following the same destructive routine can be even more painful. This is the case when we drink soda on a regular basis. We may feel like drinking soda is an important part of our routine, but it’s certainly damaging our health in the long run.

For soda lovers, this news can be disheartening. Of course, most of us realize that water or tea is better for our overall health. However, we may not consider the effects soda can have on our dental hygiene.

Sorry, diet soda drinkers!  You’re at risk as well. Diet soda may appear like the better choice for your waistline, but it still adversely affects your dental hygiene.

Explore the following reasons why you should stop drinking soda and learn how to drop soda for good:

Reasons to Stop Drinking Soda

Regular soda contains two acidic producing substances. The first is sugar and the second is carbonation.

Sugar in your mouth promotes the growth of bacteria. Bacteria feed off this sugar and can produce acid, which affects your teeth’s enamel. As this enamel wears down, your teeth become more susceptible to tooth decay, cavities, and other dental problems.

The carbonation in soda is also acidic. So, when you drink soda your teeth are vulnerable to two separate acid attacks. These so called “acid attacks” can last for up to 20 minutes after you drink a soda.

Although diet sodas don’t contain regular sugar, they still contain acid from the carbonation. With this in mind, it is smart to consider eliminating diet soda consumption to prevent tooth enamel erosion.

Tips for Curbing Your Soda Intake

There are many healthy ways you can reduce or eliminate your soda drinking.

For starters, try reducing your intake of soda by increasing the amount of water you drink. It is important to set a daily water consumption goal and stick to it. You may notice that by setting a water intake goal, your consumption of soda naturally begins to slow down.

Another good idea is trying to only drink soda at mealtimes. This is much healthier for your teeth because the food helps reduce the effects of the acid by maintaining your mouth’s pH levels.

It may seem daunting to eliminate the addictive soda drinking habit immediately.  It is a good idea to start with small goals and then add in more aggressive goals when you’re ready. For example, a soda drinker may start with a goal of only consuming two sodas per day.  When you’ve attained this goal on a consistent basis, then consider changing your goal to one soda per day. Eventually, you can eliminate your soda drinking habit completely.

There are also methods to prevent tooth damage while continuing to drink soda. One important way is to rinse your mouth out with water after drinking a soda.  Another good idea is drinking soda through a straw to reduce the amount of contact the soda has with your teeth.

It’s important to not brush your teeth for at least 30-60 minutes after drinking a soda, as this can damage the teeth even further when they’re in a vulnerable state after an acid attack.

Choosing Healthier Options to Stop Drinking Soda

If you’re convinced that you should stop drinking soda, then you may be ready to take action. As we all know, however, replacing an addictive habit can be a challenging task.

To start, you’ll need to cultivate an encouraging support system. It is a good idea to explain to your friends and family that you are trying to stop drinking soda. Ask them to support you in any way they can and to encourage you to follow through with your commitment.  It is important to ask them not to offer you soda, so there are less temptations. You can also consider hiring a health coach to help hold you accountable for attaining your goal. A health coach can also offer individualized suggestions for replacing your soda drinking habit.

It is wise to schedule an appointment with your dentist, so you have an idea of the status of your oral health.  You may want to ask your dentist how any dental issues from drinking soda can be repaired. Your dental provider might suggest a new toothpaste or dental hygiene routine to make sure your oral health is back on track.  Your dentist will also be able to clean your teeth and repair any damage.

Need help improving your dental health? Contact us today to learn more about oral hygiene and to schedule a dental appointment at our Brentwood office.