Skip to content

    Oral Care

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Too Much Soda Taking Its Toll on Kids' Teeth

    continued...

    • Drink only small-size sodas, then head to the water fountain. "Whether you swallow the water or spit it out, it takes the sugar off the teeth," Chase says.
    • Don't brush your teeth after drinking pop. "The acid in the sugar weakens the enamel," says Chase. "When you subject the enamel to a nylon bristle brush with toothpaste, you're going to wear away the enamel even faster."
    • Drink sodas through a straw. "There's less direct contact with teeth," Chase tells WebMD.

    Many other popular soda alternatives -- such as fruit drinks and juices -- can be just as bad for kids' dental and overall health, Chase says. "They don't have as much sugar, but some kids drink so much it has the same effect as soda pop.

    "I would like to see kids carry water bottles in backpacks instead," he tells WebMD. "School systems should limit access to vending machines to after-school hours so kids can carry a bottle of pop with them on the bus."

    But bottled water isn't the sole solution, says Sup-Barnes. "Bottled water has no fluoride -- and that absolutely makes a difference [in cavities]," she tells WebMD.

    "Some families cook with bottled water, drink it," she says. "They don't use any water from the tap [which has fluoride in it]. Coupled with excessive soda use, unfluoridated water is really detrimental to teeth."

    As for the issue surrounding vending machines in schools, William L. Ball III, president of the National Soft Drink Association, stated in a press release this spring that "science shows us there is no nutritional reason to further restrict the sale of soft drinks or any other beverages in schools."

    Regardless, in March Coca-Cola pulled back on its support for "exclusive" soda contracts with schools.

    1 | 2

    How Do I Measure Up? Get the Facts Fast!

    Number of Days Per Week I Floss

    Get the latest Oral Health newsletter delivered to your inbox!


    or
    Answer:
    Never
    (0)
    Good
    (1-3)
    Better
    (4-6)
    Best
    (7)

    You are currently

    Only 18.5% of Americans never floss. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Floss removes food trapped between the teeth and removes the film of bacteria that forms there before it turns to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Try flossing just one tooth to get started.

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily. You are missing out on a simple way to make a big difference in the health of your mouth. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for 3 more days!

    You are one of 31% of Americans who don't floss daily, but you're well on your way to making a positive impact on your teeth and gums. Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Aim for all 7 days!

    Only 50.5% of Americans floss daily, and good for you that you are one of them! Regardless of how well you brush, plaque still forms between your teeth and along your gums. Toothbrush bristles alone cannot clean effectively between these tight spaces. Flossing removes up to 80% of the film that hardens to plaque, which can cause inflamed gums (gingivitis), cavities, and tooth loss. Congratulations on your good oral health habit!

    SOURCES:

    American Dental Association, Healthy People 2010

    This tool is intended only for adults 18 and older.

    Start Over

    Step:  of 

    Today on WebMD

    close up of woman sticking out tongue
    Sores, discoloration, bumps and more.
    toothbrushes
    10 secrets to a brighter smile.
     
    Veneer smile
    Before and after.
    Woman checking her bite in mirror
    Why dental care is important.
     

    Woman dissatisfied with granola bar
    Slideshow
    woman with jaw pain
    Quiz
     
    eroded front teeth
    Slideshow
    brushing teeth
    Video
     

    Variety shades of tea
    Slideshow
    mouth and dental instruments
    Article
     
    Closeup of a happy young guy brushing his teeth
    Tool
    womans smile
    Video