Protecting your teeth from your favourite sugary drinks

Did you know that drinking too many carbonated soft drinks can cause damage to your health and your teeth?

Most sodas contain lots of sugar, or even worse, artificial sweeteners

The chemical aspartame, which is often used as a sugar substitute in diet soda, has over 92 different side effects associated with its consumption including brain tumours, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilepsy and even seizures.

Phosphoric acid

The phosphorus in the acid upsets the body’s calcium-phosphorus ratio and dissolves calcium out of the bones.  This can eventually result in Osteoporosis, a weakening of the skeletal structure, which can make you more prone to broken teeth and bones.  

Benzene

Benzene is formed from both natural processes and human activities. It is produced from volcanoes and forest fires and is a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke

Breathing high levels of benzene, or eating or drinking foods contaminated with high levels of benzene, can cause death. Eating or drinking foods contaminated with high levels of benzene can also cause vomiting and stomach irritation. Small amounts of benzene, which are not harmful, can be found in fruit, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, beverages, and eggs.

Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene by breathing or eating affects the central nervous system and can cause paralysis, coma, convulsions, dizziness, sleepiness, rapid heart rate, tightness of the chest, tremors, and rapid breathing.

Artificial food colours

The artificial brown colouring is made by reacting corn sugar with ammonia and sulphites under high pressures and at high temperatures.

Sodium benzoate, a common preservative found in many soft drinks,  can cause DNA damage which  could eventually lead to diseases such as cirrhosis of the liver and Parkinson’s.

Lemonade

When the weather is warm, many people like a nice cold glass of lemonade, however this is a concoction of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, water, and flavouring and only contains small amounts of actual lemon juice.

Lemonade acts much like soda, exposing you to excessive amounts of fructose that will increase your risk of weight gain and chronic degenerative diseases. However, if you make fresh lemonade or limeade then it is much better for your health and your teeth because these are the lowest fruits in fructose. Just make sure that you use a sweetener that you stick to and avoid adding too much sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Energy Drinks

Many of us indulge in energy drinks in the hope that they will give us a quick boost that we often require when feeling a little sluggish. However, consuming large amounts of caffeine in energy drinks can cause serious health consequences, including caffeine toxicity, stroke, anxiety, arrhythmia, and in some rare cases death.

An article on Know Your Teeth says that researchers found that damage to enamel was evident after only five days of exposure to sports or energy drinks, although energy drinks showed a significantly greater potential to damage teeth than sports drinks.

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are also extremely popular in the spring and summer months, as many believe they are necessary to restore your electrolyte balance during exercise or other outdoor activities.

Research suggests that leading brands of sports drinks on the market contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of sodas and more sodium. They also often contain high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or artificial sweeteners (they can lead to impaired kidney function, depression, headaches, infertility, brain tumours, and a long list of other serious health problems), artificial flavours and food colouring, which has been connected to a variety of health problems, including allergic reactions, hyperactivity, decreased IQ in children, and numerous forms of cancer.

Dr Tony Smith, Head of Research at the University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry commented, “Tooth erosion can be a significant problem as when the enamel is dissolved the tooth becomes a lot more sensitive. Eventually the hard dentine and pulp can be exposed, leading to infection. This study has shown that whilst an existing sports drink was erosive, it has been possible to formulate this new sports drink with negligible erosive potential. It’s also important to remember that similar erosive problems can occur when drinking fruit juices or fizzy drinks”.

If you need any advice on foods and beverages that are likely to affect your teeth call the team on 01603 621613.

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