“If you keep drinking that stuff, your teeth will fall out!”
A shrill cry echoed by mothers everywhere. And, while it may seem dramatic, there is at least a ring of truth to it.
Carbonated drinks make your teeth yellow – a truth none of us want to confront, but one we can’t avoid.
Sugar and acid in fizzy drinks can turn your teeth yellow
First things first, soft drinks often contain large amounts of sugar. Bacteria in your mouth breaks down this sugar, producing acids that cause enamel erosion.
But wait … aren’t there sugar-free soft drinks, you might protest. We’ve got bad news for you. ALL soft drinks contain large amounts of carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid is the substance responsible for making that fizz when you open a can of your favourite soft drink. Coca-Cola in particular, also contains another type of acid – phosphoric acid.
While the above substances are responsible for bringing us the classic taste of Coke, they’re also responsible for eroding your tooth enamel.
If we’re weighing the two, we’ll take a green tea over a Coke anyday.
How do fizzy drinks cause enamel erosion that makes my teeth yellow?
We’ve talked a lot about how enamel erosion can result in your teeth turning yellow before– but we’ve never really explained how exactly this happens.
When your tooth enamel is eroded away, the dentin layer of your tooth is revealed.
As the dentin layer is naturally yellow in colour, this results in your teeth appearing yellow instead. Hence, when you frequently consume soft drinks that erode your enamel, it “stains” your teeth in a way – by eroding your tooth enamel and revealing the yellow dentin.
But that’s not the only way your teeth turn yellow.
Consuming dark-coloured beverages or food that are high in chromogens – pigment-producing products that stick to your tooth enamel can also result in teeth staining.
Guess what’s acidic, dark-coloured and full of sugar?
Yup. That can of coke you just opened.
Can't give up those fizzy drinks even though they contribute to yellowing teeth?
We get it – Coke is all cold and fizzy. Singapore is as warm as it comes. On a hot day, a cold fizzy drink is bliss.
So, we’re not asking you to give them up forever, even if soft drinks could contribute to teeth yellowing/staining.
So, here are a few ways you can still enjoy your soft drinks and yet reduce the effects of staining at the same time:
1. Use a straw when drinking – this limits your teeth’s exposure to the acidic nature of the drink
2. Rinse your mouth immediately after drinking soft drinks
3. Wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after consuming that can of pure fizz.
But of course, as the saying goes – prevention is still better than cure.
Maybe opt for a green tea, or good ol’ H20.
Trust us, your teeth will thank you for that.
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