Damaging Effects of Sugary Drinks
Dextrose, fructose, glucose, and maltose; it doesn’t matter what the fancy and sometimes hard-to-pronounce ingredients are called on nutrition labels. Those are all names for sugar. In terms of maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding sugar is advised. Then again, the
“But it tastes so good!” You might exclaim. Or, “Well, I chose diet soda with artificial sweetener, so I’m fine,” is an excuse you are possibly guilty of using.mantra, “everything in moderation” is suggested as well. We can’t avoid the healthy sugar in fruit that our bodies crave, but we can avoid unhealthy sources of sugar, such as sports and energy drinks, and—you guessed it—soda.
It’s understandable why one might reach for a can of Coke, a can of Rockstar, or a bottle of Gatorade. They are flavorful, and not as boring as water. But, did you ever think about what ingredients are inside of those drinks? You’ve probably chosen one of these drinks over water or green tea because of the energy they give you. This so-called “energy” is simply a sugar high, and is eventually followed by a crash, sooner or later.
Take a look at how much sugar is in some of your favorite beverages:
- Coca Cola — There are 39 grams of sugar in a 12oz can of Coke.
- Rockstar Energy — There are 31 grams of sugar in an 8oz can of Rockstar.
- Gatorade — There are 35 grams of sugar in a regular 20oz bottle of this popular sports drink.
Still not convinced? Even if you are not concerned about all of the calories, the links to obesity and diabetes, nor the high amount of caffeine, consider the damaging effects that these sugary drinks have on your teeth; they can severely impact your oral hygiene.
You know sugar can cause cavities, so you brush and floss your teeth twice a day, thinking that you’re completely safe, right?
Think again. The effects that sugary beverages have on your teeth are similar to those that are caused by the usage of illegal substances, such as methamphetamines. Unhealthy drinks and illegal drugs bathe your teeth in acid, which wears away tooth enamel and causes erosion of the teeth. Enamel is a protective shield on the outer layers of your teeth. If the enamels of teeth are worn away too much, the risk of developing sensitivity, stains, and cavities. The likelihood of tooth decay occurring, even in the younger generations, increases as well.
Image credit: Shardayyy @ Flickr
A study reported that 30 to 50 percent of teenagers in the United States consume energy drinks, and that 65 percent of teens consume at least one sports drink per day. Kids, teens, and adults alike are often oblivious to the damaging effects of the sugary drinks they guzzle each day. It’s important to be aware of the harmful toll that certain things in your diet can take on not only your teeth and bodies, but also on those of your loved ones.
Can’t kick the habit completely?
Not many people can abandon their beloved drinks, despite the unhealthy ingredients listed on the often-ignored label. If you find that avoiding all sugary drinks without fail is impossible, there are a few healthy habits that you can adopt in order to combat the damages of your unhealthy beverage of choice.
- Moderation — Okay, so you say you can’t quit your addiction to liquid sugar cold turkey? Don’t worry! If you stopped your intake of these drinks all at once, you could suffer from caffeine withdraw and experience headaches and fatigue. Instead, try to slowly minimize the amount of these drinks you have on a daily basis. Eventually, you won’t feel the need to drink them all the time. The consumption of sugar has a side effect of causing cravings for even more sugar.
- Rinse or Chew — The dentists here at Winter Garden Smiles suggest to rinse your mouth with water or to chew sugar-free gum after the consumption of these drinks. Both actions increase the flow of saliva, and aids in returning the acidity level of your mouth back to normal.
- The One-Hour Rule — In order to avoid spreading the acid in these drinks and prevent even further erosion of the enamel, wait at least an hour after consuming these types of unhealthy beverages before brushing your teeth.
Whether you have banned sugary drinks from your diet or are currently sipping on your third can of Diet Coke so far today, the importance of good oral hygiene and the health of your teeth cannot be stressed enough. At Winter Garden Smiles, we can help you take care of your teeth and teach you healthier habits. Call us today at 407-614-5955 to schedule an appointment.