Few things are more satisfying than an ice cold cool drink on a hot summer’s day. New studies, however, suggest that carbonated sugary beverages (also called fizzy or soft drinks) may not only be bad for your waist line, but absolutely terrible for your teeth.
What is in cool drink?
There is a long list of nasty ingredients that make up a can of cool drink. The only guilt-free part of a cool drink is that it is 89% seltzer water, but don’t let that percentage fool you into thinking it’s healthy as it also contains caffeine, sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, and phosphoric and citric acids
And added to provide a sour flavour to balance the sugar’s sweetness, are caramel colour (essentially sugar treated with ammonia) as well as 1% natural flavouring such as vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, lime, coca extract and kola nut extract.
How do soft drinks affect your teeth?
When you drink a soft drink, the sugars it contains interact with bacteria in your mouth to form acid. This acid attacks your teeth, and each acid attack lasts for about 20 minutes. Every time you take a sip of the drink, the acid damage begins all over again. Both regular and sugar-free cool drinks also contain their own acids which also attack the teeth. If you therefore sip all day, your teeth are under constant attack, says Healthline.
Essentially, soft drinks coat your teeth in liquid sugar and acid.
How to fight tooth decay
Although you cannot completely stop the damage that is caused to the teeth by fizzy drinks and other sugary beverages, there are ways to minimise the effects.
Use a straw so your teeth are less exposed to the sugar and acid in the drink. This way, most of the liquid bypasses your teeth and goes straight to the throat.
Rethink Sugary Drink suggests protecting your teeth by using fluoride toothpaste. Also, after drinking sugary or acidic beverages, don’t brush your teeth right away. Wait at least one hour so your teeth can recover and your enamel can re-harden before you take the brush to them.