Soda is one of the most popular drinks available in the market. Be it a party or a get-together, soda is the choice of beverage that strikes everyone’s mind.
No matter how much you try to think about drinking something different, you would be hard-pressed to find it displayed as prominently in the vending machines or even fast food joints.
Soda is an addictive drink. Many people prefer to drink soda with every meal of the day.
Studies have shown that an average American drinks around 45 gallons of sugar-sweetened fizzy beverages every year. This amount equates up to 150-200 calories each day.
With this turnover, soda can prove to be hazardous for teeth, oral health, and well-being. Having the acidic nature, soda is the root cause for enamel erosion and tooth decay.
As easy it is to get addicted to drinking soda every day, it is equally hard to stop the habit. You only realize how ubiquitous soda is in your life and society until you try to stop the practice of drinking it.
Today’s article highlights the importance of limiting the habit of drinking soda by providing you five easy ways to follow and practice in your life.
Why is soda bad for oral health?
Soda and many other industry beverages contain two particular types of sweeteners, namely fructose, and sugar.
These two sweeteners alone make up around 21% of the total calorie content.
Many people are often unaware of the calories that a drink may contain. Over the years, consumption of soda and similar beverages lead to complications like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Moreover, the sugar content in soda coats the surface of the teeth and feeds the bacteria that live in the mouth.
This process initiates an endless series of tooth decay, cavities, enamel erosion, and eventual tooth loss. (1)
Studies have stated that the best drink to consume is water. This practice eliminates the high-calorie intake from soda. Moreover, it keeps the organ healthy and well-functioning.
The Beverage Guidance Panel has stated that an alternative to sugar and fructose is artificial sweetener Splenda.
Although, there is no substantial evidence to support it, selective artificial sweeteners that contain sucralose appears to be safe by the FDA. (2)
However, the best way to stay healthy is to limit the use of soda or for the better avoid it altogether.
How to stop drinking soda?
Below are the five ways to stop yourself from consuming soda –
1. Take small steps
Follow a daily schedule of avoiding your favorite fizzy sugary drink. Set small incremental goals, for example, target to not drink soda for a week.
When you complete your goal, increase the time limit, this time, perhaps for a month.
Achieving all these goals successfully will make you more confident and give you the will power to create bigger goals and eventually quit drinking soda.
2. Switch to sparkling water
If you are the type of person who loves to have fizz in your drink, switch to sparkling water. It contains carbonation without the addition of sugars or calories.
It might take a while to acquire a taste for sparkling mineral water, but it is way healthier and worth a try.
3. Flavored water is the new trend
Plain water may seem boring for many people. One of the best ways to make your bottle of water enjoyable is by adding a little flavor to it.
Fruits, vegetables, or even herbs can be used to upgrade your glass of water. Try experimenting with cucumbers or lemons with a few sprigs of rosemary to get a tangy, savory flavor.
Citrus is often used in flavoring water because of its good natural flavor.
4. Green tea is the gateway to health
Most of the brands that manufacture soda add caffeine as one of the ingredients.
Green tea contains around 24-45mg of caffeine, which is under the normal limits of caffeine intake per day. Moreover, green tea is also packed with antioxidants that are good for health.
5. Avoid triggers
Reminders are an effective way to limit yourself from indulging into your guilty pleasures. If you crave for a can of soda, change your mind and pop a piece of gum.
Use a minty mouthwash that will remind you not to drink sugary drinks and destroy your oral health.
Always carry a bottle of water or fresh juice to avoid buying beverages from outside.
Tips for maintaining oral health
Switching to a healthy drink from soda might seem like an impossible task, especially for those who have been indulged in this habit for years.
However, proper knowledge and understanding of the harmful effects of these sugary, acidic drinks will help you to initiate the process of limitation.
Stay motivated and follow the oral health care tips given below to see great results in your oral hygiene –
- Learn how to avoid soda and sugary food and beverages
- Choose to have a healthy diet that contains balanced portions of fruits, vegetables, and nuts (4)
- Brush at least two times a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoridated toothpaste
- Floss once in a day to remove the plaque between the teeth
- Use an antibacterial non-alcoholic mouthwash always to have a fresh and healthy breath
- Take advice from your dentist to chart out a plan to stop bad oral habits.
Take away message
Soda is the most popular yet most dangerous drink consumed by more than half of the world’s population today.
Soda contains fructose and sugar along with an acidic pH level. All these factors are deadly and hazardous for dental health.
Cumulative effects of drinking soda cause acid erosion of enamel. The sugar content feeds the bacteria in the mouth and initiates the process of tooth decay and cavity formation. (5)
Long term effects may lead to eventual tooth loss and periodontal disease. Moreover, soda also affects overall health by increasing the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
The best way to live healthily is to limit or to avoid the consumption of such drinks better. Instead switch to healthy alternatives like sparkling water, mineral water, or green tea.
Dedication and constant motivation is the key to success in this challenging process of rehabilitation.
Get more information about the harmful effects of soda and learn about the healthy ways to live happily.