Mouthcare lead dental nurse and trainer at Northumbria, Paula Darkin, talks about the dangers of sugary drinks to our teeth in our latest Inside Northumbria blog
Fizzy drinks are the largest single source of sugar consumption for children aged 11-18, and they provide an average of 29% of daily sugar intake – cutting them out for a month is an easy way to reduce sugar intake and to help encourage a reduced intake for the rest of the year, by switching to healthier alternatives.
Sugar converts to acid in just 20 seconds! Any sugar on your teeth from food and drink will turn into acid and begin attacking the enamel. Over time, that acid eats away at the protective coating on your teeth and begins to cause cavities.
Did you know……sugar-free fizz is still bad for teeth! The fizz in sugar-free drinks is still acidic, and can cause tooth erosion. A can of Diet Coke has a pH level of 3.1. For reference, water has a neutral pH level of 7.0 and battery acid is extremely acidic with a pH level of 1.0. It’s much better to switch to tooth-friendly alternatives like water, milk, or no added sugar drinks.
Watch out for ‘hidden’ sugars: pure fruit juices can be a healthy choice, but the natural sugars these contain can still damage teeth. If you fancy a fruit juice, drink it with a meal and only in a small glass (up to 150ml).
Energy drinks are ‘doubly’ bad for teeth because these drinks have high levels of sugar and they are acidic. This means they can cause both dental decay and erosion of teeth.
The Change4Life ‘Food Scanner’ app shows how many calories, sugar, salt and saturated fat is in food/ drink to help make healthier choices easier.
It can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
- The hardest substance found in the human body is your tooth enamel.
- People who drink 3 or more cans of fizzy drink daily have 62% more tooth decay, fillings, and tooth loss than people that don’t drink fizzy drinks.