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Are Sugary Drinks Really Bad for My Teeth?

It’s easy to say that sugary drinks are bad for you, but many people can’t explain why these can be harmful to your teeth. The biggest problem with sugary drinks is their propensity to cause cavities. This word scares many people, but understanding a little more about what they are and what causes them can help make everything easier.

So what is a cavity? A carious lesion (cavity) or decay is basically a dissolved hole or eaten away area of previously healthy tooth structure. So what causes this to occur? There must be three things present to cause a cavity. These are tooth structure, bacteria, and sugar. There are naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth that attach to your teeth between brushings. Some of these specific bacteria produce an acid by-product in the presence of sugar. This acid is what deteriorates the surface of your teeth and leads to cavities. All of this scientific talk is just to say, yes, sugary drinks can be bad for your teeth.

So can you ever drink sugary drinks or are you doomed for just thinking about these delicious treats? The simple answer is everything in moderation. The long answer is less is better and choosing how often you’re drinking these makes all the difference. The best method is to only have sugary drinks at meals. Avoiding sipping soda and other high sugar drinks thoughout the day will limit the acid attack I spoke of earlier and prevent cavities. Also, drinking water with fluoride (for most people this is tap water) throughout the day will help harden and protect your teeth from acid attack.

Be kind to your teeth and they will be kind to you.

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