Some sugar-free drinks are highly acidic and can damage the teeth.
It’s no secret that sugary drinks like carbonated soft drinks can damage the teeth, but did you know that even certain sugar-free drinks could be causing your smile more harm than good? While drinks that contain less or no sugar are less likely to cause tooth decay than their sugary counterparts, there is still some risk associated with options like diet soft drinks and fruit juices. This is because these drinks tend to be very acidic and can contribute to dental erosion over time. Read on to learn more about how certain sugar-free beverages can damage your teeth and which alternatives are a better choice for the sake of your smile…
How do sugar-free drinks affect your teeth?
Many sugar-free beverages, such as diet soft drinks, sports drinks, and even pure citrus fruit juices, contain acids that contribute to dental erosion. Although these drinks might not contain refined sugar, they often do just as much harm to the teeth as sugary beverages, especially if you drink them often.
The sugar in soft drinks forms acids in the mouth, but many sugar-free drinks also contain an ingredient known as phosphoric acid, the same harmful substance that is found in regular, sugary drinks. Additional ingredients in sugar-free drinks include citric and tartaric acid, both of which can damage the teeth. As you sip on these drinks, the enamel is attacked by these harmful acids and weakened over time. When the enamel weakens, it becomes more susceptible to issues like tooth decay and sensitivity.
Which drinks are better for your teeth?
If you would like to reduce your consumption of sugary drinks, you might be tempted to opt for sugar-free soft drinks instead. But it is better to choose beverages that won’t cause your teeth any harm. Some good options include water, milk, and unsweetened tea. If you do enjoy the occasional fruit juice, be sure to choose one with little or no sugar and consider diluting it with some water.
Can you avoid dental erosion?
Besides limiting your consumption of sugary and acidic drinks, there are a few ways in which you can keep dental erosion at bay and protect your teeth from damage.
One of the best things you can do is brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps to strengthen the enamel and makes it more resistant to acid attacks.
If you do drink something that could harm your teeth, rinse your mouth with water afterwards to limit the effects of the acid on your enamel. Drinking some milk or eating a little cheese can also help neutralise the acids in your mouth. You should also try to drink the beverage with a meal, rather than sipping on it continuously for an extended length of time.
After you have consumed anything acidic, you should wait between 30 minutes and an hour before brushing your teeth — this will allow time for your mouth to return to a neutral pH.
How can we help?
At Access Dental Care, we love to keep our patients informed and educated when it comes to their oral health. If you have a question related to your oral hygiene or the impact that your diet could be having on your teeth, please don’t hesitate to chat to our friendly team.
We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us for regular check-ups. If we identify signs of dental erosion, we will let you know what you can do to prevent further damage and strengthen your teeth.
Our team offers a comprehensive range of services, including general, cosmetic, restorative, children’s, and sedation dentistry. To find out more about the treatments that we offer, please have a look here.
To book an appointment, please contact us here or give us a call at (08) 9485 0600.