Adolescence is the time when bone growth is at it's highest. This is also a time when soda is introduced, and consumed daily for most young Americans. Studies have shown that teenage boys drink the most soda and sugary drinks;with others consuming at least one a day! As a result our youth may be at risk for having permanent damage to their teeth as well as their overall health.
The two main culprits in soda that are harmful to your teeth are; sugar and acid. When you drink soda, the sugars interact with the bacteria in your mouth forming an acid that breaks down tooth enamel and weakening the overall tooth structure. Both regular and sugar free sodas contain harmful acids, which cause erosion and cavities. The soda with the highest level of concern is Moutain Dew, leading all other sodas with the highest sugar and acid content. If choosing soda, as the better choices tend to be Sprite, Diet Coke, and Diet Dr. Pepper which can be lower in acid content.
There are many ways to help prevent the soda battle with your teen! First, try to limit your choice of soda to at least one a day! If you have to have a soda drink it quickly and through a straw. This will help keep the damaging acids and sugars away from your teeth. After drinking, rinse your mouth with water and avoid brushing for at least 30-60 minutes.Never drink soda before bed and get regular dental cleanings and check-ups!