Making the switch from full-sugar sodas to sugar-free ones might seem like a good choice to make for your family. And you're partially right; cutting down on sugar in your family's diet can be good for your family's teeth. However, if you're still sipping soda on a regular basis, damage may still be done. Here's what you need to know about this damage.
What Causes It
There are a few factors at work in the average soda that can cause problems for your teeth and gums.
The first is that most sodas are acidic. Many contain citric acid, which is found in juices and fruit. Acidic food and drink can wear away at tooth enamel and temporarily soften it, which goes hand-in-hand with another problem that sodas pose.
Sodas are, of course, carbonated. These bubbles might seem harmless, but in reality, they can cause problems for your teeth. These little bubbles can help to wear away at dental enamel, especially when combined with the acidity of an average soda. Since the acidity temporarily softens enamel, it makes it weak and more likely to be damaged by things like carbonation.
What to Do
If your family has regularly been drinking soda of either the sugary or sugar-free variety, the first thing you should do is schedule appointments with your family dentist's office. It's important for your whole family to have a healthy mouth, as more and more science is being uncovered that shows that the health of your mouth plays a role in the health of your whole body. Visiting your dentist will ensure that any damage that has been done to your teeth and your family's teeth can be repaired and managed.
Secondly, it's a good idea to ditch soda from your diet if at all possible. To start, you can try just cutting down on the amount that you have per day. You can also eliminate flavors that have added citric acid in the ingredients list. It's usually towards the bottom of the list, so be careful to not miss it. If you're not sure or you can't view the ingredients, just keep in mind that fruity flavors - especially citrus - tend to include citric acid.
Lastly, if you have to drink a soda, consider rinsing your mouth out with water right after. This will loosen up any acidic residue, putting a stop to it damaging your tooth enamel. You should also rinse with water before brushing your teeth if you've had a soda recently, as your softened enamel will also be susceptible to damage from toothbrushing.
To learn more, contact a resource like Desert Dental: Ruintan Kamran D.M.D..