While most of us know that sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth, many are surprised that sugar itself does not cause damage to the teeth. Science shows that once sugar is consumed (carbohydrates), oral bacteria process it as their own fuel and release an acidic waste byproduct after the sugar has served its purpose. This acidic waste is what forms cavities, or holes, in the tooth structure. Try this after consuming acidic beverages:
Drink more water. Work to gradually replace fluid intake with water. This transition can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.
Limit exposure time. If you do indulge in a sweet or acidic beverage, limit intake to one sitting or one meal instead of sipping it throughout the day.
Remember that “diet” and “sugar-free” don’t mean “healthy.” Diet sodas, sparkling waters, and sugar-free sports drinks may not contain carbohydrates, but most still contain various acids that flavor and preserve the product. The carbonation that provides that fresh, fizzy taste is also highly acidic.
Wait to brush your teeth after consuming acids. Dental professionals recommend waiting at least 30 to 60 minutes to brush teeth after consuming sugars or acids. Swish with water or chew sugarless gum in the meantime.