Sweetened beverages, juice and soft drinks are very popular. Unfortunately drinking sweetened beverages on a regular basis can lead to many negative side effects to your oral health. The added sugar in your mouth increase bacteria and plaque development which then increases the chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease. The acidic nature of these beverages also can lead to enamel erosion.
When selecting a sweetened beverage try to choose one that uses sugar substitutes. Read the label for sugar substitutes like aspartame, erythritol, saccharin, sucralose, isomalt, sorbitol, acesulfame potassium and mannitol. These taste very similar to sugar, yet they do not promote tooth decay.
If you do decide to enjoy a sweetened beverage on occasion as a treat, try to follow it up with a quick drink of water. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to brush your teeth or try to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash. Removing the residual sugar from your mouth will help to keep bacteria at bay.
If you have questions about soft drink alternatives please call us at (616) 453-0002 or ask us at your next dental cleaning appointment.