Soda. Sure, it tastes great. But the truth is that it’s one of the worst decisions you can make regarding your oral health. And unfortunately, the popularity of soda all across the United States is steadily increasing! In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of school-aged children drink at least one soda per day. At least one in five school-aged children drinks at least four sodas per day. Some teenagers even drink as many as 12 sodas per day! As if these numbers aren’t staggering enough, serving sizes for soda are larger than ever. In the 1950s, a typical serving size of soda was 6.5 ounces; by the 1990s, the typical soda had increased to 20 ounces. Today’s problems with soda are so concerning that many health authorities, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, have started preaching about the dangers that go along with drinking soda. Read on to learn more about why soda’s so bad for you — and why you should consider cutting back or eliminating it from your diet altogether.
Why is soda so bad for your oral health?
In recent studies, we’ve learned that soda can lead to tooth decay. This is because the acids and sugar contained in soda can soften tooth enamel, which leads to cavities. Kids and teenagers are most susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not fully developed yet. As if that wasn’t enough, heavy soda consumption has also been linked to other health issues, including obesity, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Some people say they can’t go without soda because they need the caffeine to stay awake and alert throughout the day. But did you know that lack of water is the number one trigger for daytime fatigue? So next time you feel tired during the day, simply drink water instead of reaching for that soda. Water is not only good for your body; it also won’t damage your teeth like soda will.
New regulations strive to decrease the amount of people who drink soda
In April 2018, a new soda industry levy will be introduced in the UK. This levy is all about the sugar content in drinks: there will be no tax on diet drinks and low-sugar drinks, a low tax on mid-sugar drinks and a high tax on high-sugar drinks (including soda). The result of this levy is estimated to produce significant health benefits, especially for children.
How will the soda industry respond to this levy? The hope is that they will formulate their drinks to reduce their sugar content, thus lowering the price of their drinks. If this happens, lawmakers think they’ll see a positive impact on the rates of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, which are all increased by the consumption of high-sugar drinks such as soda.
Will this law eventually be brought to the United States as well? Only time will tell, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to encourage more people to drink healthier beverages, such as water, milk and 100 percent fruit juice, all of which dentists recommend over soda.
Cut back on soda, improve your health
If you want to enjoy those pearly whites for a lifetime, the first step is to cut back on — or, better yet, cut out — soda. It’s a simple change that can make a huge difference in your oral health. So next time you go to grab a soda, choose water instead. Your teeth will thank you!