Research published in the Journal of Dentistry in August offered some of the most eye-opening warnings about highly acidic beverages like sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices.
A team from the University of Adelaide in Australia demonstrated that lifelong damage is caused by acidity within the first 30 seconds of consumption. Researcher and corresponding author of the article, Dr. Sarbin Ranjitkar, said:
“If high acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they’ll be okay — the damage is already done.”
He also offers a plausible alternative: fresh fruit. While many fruits such as oranges and lemons are also naturally acidic, none of them contain additives and sweeteners like acidic beverages. Fruits also contain vitamins and usually have high water content, two keys to healthy nutrition.
For those interested in the science of dentistry, the full article is available online here.
Take Away for Our Jacksonville Patients
The problem is that beverages with high acidity are readily available in super markets, vending machines, restaurants, and basically every place where people shop for food. When high sugar content is combined with high acidity and convenient accessibility, large consumption is bound to occur.
Like the article says, the best defense against highly acidic beverages is to avoid them altogether. But it’s also important to remember best practices to halt the enamel erosion after consuming a soda or another tooth-eroding beverage, such as:
- Drink it quickly: sipping drinks over a long period of time is proven to give bacteria more time to erode your teeth.
- Rinse with water right after. Most of the bacteria will wash away and the fluoride in tap water will help protect your enamel.
- Chew sugar-free gum: This will stimulate your saliva flow, which will help wash away the harmful bacteria. It may also help to reduce sugar cravings and avoid consumption in the first place.
We want all of our patients to be as happy and as healthy as they possibly can. By avoiding sodas, sports drinks, and fruit juices, you’ll take a big step toward that goal. If you have any questions about the damage to oral health caused by highly acidic drinks – or any other oral health concern – please feel free to contact our office.