And Lay Off The Soda

Did your last dental checkup find you sinking lower and lower into the dental chair with each cavity your dentist found? If so, one of the first questions you may want to ask yourself is this: are soft drinks a big part of your daily routine? If you answered “yes”, you may want to re-think your dietary habits.

Some of the worst cases of dental decay that I have seen involve sodas, or sweetened (prepared) iced tea. One 12 oz. can of soda averages about 12 teaspoons of sugar. That’s basically liquid sugar. Just cut it out. Read the ingredient list on the bottle or can. Be aware of added concentrates, syrups and juices used to sweeten the drink. If it states high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), read “sugar”.

Imagine sitting next to someone in a restaurant or diner as you watch them put a teaspoon of sugar into a mug of coffee. Then they proceed to put in eleven more! You might just do a double-take.* And yet most people don’t even blink when consuming a can or bottle of soda. Many children (and adults) drink it by the liter.

Aside from the sugar that soft drinks contain, you are essentially giving your teeth an acid bath every time you drink a can or bottle. It’s pretty strong stuff. I understand some cola will loosen rusty nuts on bolts, or even clean battery terminals! Just try to keep it out of your body. If you need help weaning yourself off of the sugar, speak to your doctor about it right away. You will be happy to know there are healthy alternatives. Apart from enamel erosion, drinking soda has been linked to diabetes, formation of kidney stones, osteoporosis and even low potassium levels with associated muscle weakness.

Cutting back on (or preferably eliminating) soda may be one of the most significant things you can do to help your teeth -and the rest of your body.Richard Walicki, EzineArticles Basic PLUS Author

(*) Some time after I originally wrote this piece for Ezine @rticles  I came across the following ad by the New York City Health Department.  It makes a very similar point!