Soda, Straws, And Tooth Decay

Oct 01, 2013

Maybe you’ve heard that drinking through a straw makes drinking sugary drinks, like soda, okay. While you might not have the complete go-ahead, there is some truth to the benefit of drinking through a straw.Austin TX Dentistry - Sugar, Straws and tooth decay

A study published in an issue of General Dentistry reported that drinking soft drinks, juices or other sugary drinks through a straw positioned just-so could help reduce the risk of cavities. Sugar on the teeth makes it more likely that the bacteria that cause cavities will grow. A straw can help keep some of this sugar from making contact with your teeth, preventing bacterial growth.

Studied Factors

The study found that different things can affect the location and severity of tooth decay and number of cavities. The different things the study looked at were:

  • Frequency of sipping.

  • Whether or not a straw was used.

  • Amount of time the beverage remained in the mouth before swallowing.

Subjects who drink directly out of the can and allow the beverage to pool in the back of their mouths often experienced decay in the back molars. Those who drank through a straw aimed directly at the front teeth (tip of the straw placed right behind the lips) experienced decay in their front teeth.

Soda Drinking Tips

To allow yourself the benefits that drinking through a straw can offer, scientists recommend positioning the straw to the back of your mouth, because it will limit the amount of time that the beverage comes in contact with the teeth, although not totally prevent it. So what else can you do to avoid cavities and decay from sugary drinks?

  • Make sure to rinse your mouth out with water following their consumption.

  • Do not drink sugary drinks before bed, or if you do rinse after.

  • Do not brush immediately following drinking a sugary drink. The motion can grind the sugar into your teeth and cause erosion.

Call Dr. Arzegar of the Lifetime Smiles today and schedule a routine cleaning to check for both cavities and decay!

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