I love an ice-cold soda pop but let me tell you from experience that soft drinks are not good for your teeth at all.

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Soft Drinks in the Bottle

Diane Miller/Getty Images
Diane Miller/Getty Images

I am old enough to remember when you could get a Coke or a Pepsi in the bottle. Those of you who have had the pleasure of drinking soda from a glass bottle know there is none better.

I have never been one to drink coffee or alcohol but there have not been too many times that I have turned down an ice-cold pop. Now that I'm older I have been learning about the damage I have done to my teeth over the years.

What Does Soda Do To Your Teeth?

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When you drink a soft drink, the sugar in the drink will then mix with bacteria that is in your mouth and it then forms an acid. This acid is what attacks your teeth. The damage only lasts about 20 minutes if you down a pop pretty quick but if you are someone that sips on one all day, you are doing damage to your mouth all day.

Drinking soft drinks cause two major dental issues, cavities, and erosion.

Tooth erosion is when the enamel gets weakened from drinking soda and makes the tooth more susceptible to damage like tooth decay, pain, and sensitivity.

Drinking soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and acts as a triple threat to your teeth. The carbonation combined with the sugar and acids encourages the growth of bacteria in your mouth and on your teeth which leads to cavities.

How Much Sugar Should You Have Each Day?

Spoon of fine granulated sugar
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So if sugar is that bad for your teeth in soda, how much sugar should someone have in a day? According to the American Dental Association, sugar should make up no more than 10% of your daily calories. For men, it's 12.5-18.75 teaspoons and for women, it's 10-15 teaspoons per day.

To give you an idea of just how much sugar is in soda or an energy drink, take a look at these numbers:

  • Mountain Dew - 12 teaspoons of sugar
  • Coke - 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • Pepsi - 11 teaspoons of sugar
  • Dr. Pepper - 10 teaspoons of sugar
  • Red Bull Energy Drink - 10 teaspoons of sugar

Tooth Pain

Young beautiful woman suffering from toothache in consulting room
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Tooth pain is one of the worst pains you can get. Even if you don't feel pain in your teeth, an abscessed tooth can make you feel very bad. It can cause headaches and even make you think something else is wrong.

Most of the time you can feel which tooth is causing your problems. You can try putting on a pain reliever that is made for your teeth and gums but trusts me when I say it is only a temporary fix. If you feel any kind of tooth pain, call your dentist and get right in because the sooner you see a dentist it may help save a tooth or at least get the pain to go away.

Sleepless Nights

Ryan J Lane/Getty Images
Ryan J Lane/Getty Images

Not getting a tooth fixed when it is hurting can bring on many sleepless nights. There is no way to get comfortable when you have a toothache. Some injuries if you lay a certain way you don't feel the pain and can't get a little sleep. Not the case with an infected tooth, those nerve endings shoot pain straight to your head, and it's almost impossible to sleep until a dentist takes care of the problem.

Can I Still Drink Soda?

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You can drink soda but it's better to drink it fast so there is less time for the sugars and acid to damage your teeth. Try using a stray to draw the soda to the back of your mouth and away from your teeth.  After drinking a soda it's always a good idea to rinse your mouth.

Drink soda while eating food. The food will help create saliva to break down the acid created from the soda.

Don't sip on pop all day. Constantly exposing your teeth to sugars and acids will not allow your mouth to restore its natural pH balance.

The real big one is to not drink soda and then go to bed. This allows the sugar and the acid to work all night attaching your teeth and you don't want that happening.

How To Avoid Tooth Decay

Ingram Publishing/ThinkStock/GettyStock
Ingram Publishing/ThinkStock/GettyStock

Cutting down on drinking soda is one great way but also reducing the amount of sugar intake, in general, will help. Going to the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings will be a big help. Getting your teeth cleaned removed the plaque and bacteria buildup that leads to tooth decay. Brush your teeth 2 or 3 times a day or more if needed.

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