Soda promotes cavities

Capt. S.Thikkurissy
435th Dental Squadron

***image1***What was once a disturbing trend for children has become a health issue of widespread proportions.
Carbonated drinks are the single biggest source of refined sugars in the American diet. According to the U.S. Department of Argiculture, it has been estimated that almost half of all children between 6 and 11 drink soda pop, with the average drinker consuming 15 ounces per day.
According to dietary surveys, soda pop provides the average American with seven teaspoons of sugar per day.
Teenage boys get 44 percent of their average 34 teaspoons of sugar a day from soft drinks. Teenage girls get 40 percent of their average 24 teaspoons of sugar from soft drinks, according to the American Journal Clinical Nutrition.
Soda has become a factor in the development of dental caries (tooth decay) that is often overlooked.
It doesn’t matter how well children brush their teeth. Even with mom and dad’s help, the constant assault by carbonated drinks, regular or diet, promote dental cavities.
Imagine getting a painful sunburn – then taking a shower, and then going back out into the sun for another sunburn — then imagine getting back in the shower five minutes later — repeat this 30 to 40 times and you will get an idea of how your teeth feel as you sip a soda over an hour or more.
The constant assaults of sugar on teeth make the mouth more acidic, an environment that promotes cavities.
Dental cavities are not the only potential side effect from constant consumption of soft drinks; dehydration, kidney stones, obesity and osteoporosis have also been cited.
In addition, one can of a highly-caffeinated soda contains as much caffeine as one cup of coffee, and children are generally not encouraged to consume coffee, according to the article, “Liquid Candy-How Soft Drinks are harming American’s Health,” by Michael Jacobsen.
Many adults are now paying the price for unlimited consumption of soft drinks with frequent flyer passes to the dentist. Soda is one of the major things keeping dentists working as we move well into the 21st century or more appropriately, the “21st dentury.”
Alternatives? Water is good, it’s a time tested necessity for all of us. If your child does drink soda, moderate his or her consumption.
Contact your child’s 435th Pediatric Dental Element at 479-2210, or e-mail for further questions.