Pop is a fun treat that most children enjoy on occasion. It’s important, though, that it remain an occasional treat, as it can do a lot of damage to children’s teeth when consumed in excess!
Unfortunately, North Americans in general drink far too much pop; some people drink it every day, and even multiple times a day. Ask any dentist, and they’ll tell you: this is a serious problem when it comes to the oral health of the children in our communities!
How Do Soft Drinks Damage Teeth?
The pop you drink contains sugars that interact with the bacteria in the mouth, and together, they create acids. Pop is also acidic itself, which just adds to the problem.
These acids cause the enamel and dentin of the teeth to soften and erode, and they can even damage composite fillings. Eventually, this will cause cavities to develop.
What About Sugar-Free or Diet Pop?
Although sugar-free and diet pops do not contain as much sugar as regular pop (or any sugar at all), these soft drinks can nonetheless damage teeth because they still contain acids, which contribute to the erosion of enamel and dentin.
How Can I Prevent Damage?
The best way to prevent the damage caused by pop is (you guessed it!) to stop drinking pop. Especially if your family drinks it on a daily basis, it’s time to cut way back. Serve water, milk, or even fruit juice (in moderation) instead.
Now you don't have to cut pop out of your families lives completely. It can be enjoyed in moderation (say, as a treat during a party or along with takeout pizza for example) without causing any damage. When your kids do drink pop, be sure they take extra care with their oral hygiene routine afterwards.
You’ll find that over time, after your pop consumption has been cut down, you’ll no longer enjoy it as much when you do drink it. Many of our patients who have cut it out report finding it too sweet, and not as refreshing as they remember.