48% of American adults consumes at least one glass of soda and other sweetened beverages each day, according to a Gallup poll. Furthermore, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show more than 16 percent of children ages 2 to 19 have untreated cavities.
What you may not know is that bacteria feed on what you eat and drink, especially sugars, and this creates acid that can break down the tooth’s outer surface and dissolve the valuable minerals that protect teeth from decay. The more your teeth break down, the more likely you will develop tooth decay and other dental maladies in the future.
“Sipping sugary drinks gives bacteria in the mouth more power to create acid that weakens tooth enamel and causes cavities,” said CDA President-elect Lindsay Robinson, DDS. “In addition, sports drinks pose many of the same risks as other sugar-loaded beverages, such as irreversible dental erosion, and should not be substituted for water.”
CDA urges people to swap out sugar-laden drinks for a glass of milk or water this summer. Milk contains lots of calcium, which strengthens teeth and water produces saliva, which helps to keep bacteria from setting up shop in our teeth’s crevices.
“Water contains no sugar, no acids and no calories, so your teeth, and your body, will benefit,” said Robinson. “Water also helps keep gums hydrated and rinses away food particles that would otherwise remain in the mouth promoting bacterial growth that causes decay.”
Most importantly, protect teeth throughout the year by brushing for two minutes, two times a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly and visiting a dentist for a complete dental checkup on a regular basis.
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