Keep chugging your favourite fizzy sodas and you may end up ruining your picture-perfect smile. The sugar in such soft drinks feed the bacteria that produce enamelcorroding acid, says Dr Leong Hon Chiew, dentist from Dr HC Leong Dental Surgeon LLP. “Contact time and frequency are linked to cavity production,” he says. As such, having a soft drink on your desk and sipping it throughout the day is a definite teeth destroyer. Taking quick gulps, or drinking with a straw, can limit the contact of sugar with your teeth. If you don’t want to give up the sweet stuff, go for diet sodas. Because they have significantly less sugar than regular soft drinks, the impact of such sodas on your teeth is reduced.
Sugar Isn’t The Only Harmful Ingredient
However, it’s not just the sugar in soft drinks that harm your teeth. Other acids in both regular and diet sodas can also erode tooth enamel, say researchers in the US. The worst culprits: citrus-flavoured drinks (think lemon-lime). “Our teeth aren’t very different from limestone; it is susceptible to acid rain,” says Dr Leong. “However, our bodies can re-harden tooth enamel with proper dental hygiene.” It’s impossible to avoid consuming acid, too, since nearly every food and soft drink contains some form of it, he says. In addition, some are essential to our health, like citric acid.
Drink Tea To Suppress Bacteria
Grab a cuppa. Teeth immersed in soft drinks showed five times as much enamel erosion as those doused in green and black teas, found US researchers. Also, a Chicago College of Dentistry study showed that individuals who rinsed their mouths with black tea
multiple times a day had less plaque build-up than those who rinsed with just water. Researchers say the antioxidants in tea suppress bacterial formation. Drinking tea could have the same effect.
Eat More Fibre
Eating can help remove small amounts of plaque build-up, says Dr Leong. It also helps to increase saliva flow, which in turn assists in washing away bacteria accumulation. Also, chowing down on fibrous foods, such as fruits, can help cleanse some of the surfaces of our choppers. But nothing beats a good dental regime, though.