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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How Soda Damages Your Health & Your Smile

The US ranks 1st among countries in soft drink consumption. Americans consume 50 billion liters of soda/ year. This equates to 57 gal/ person every year! This is alarming because the most common health risks associated with regular soda consumption are obesity, nutritional deficiencies, tooth decay, diabetes, osteoporosis and bone fractures, heart disease, food addictions, blood sugar disorders, neurotransmitter dysfunction from chemical sweeteners and neurological & adrenal disorders from excessive caffeine.
One can of soda a day can add up to 15 lbs to your weight in a single year. Those who opt for a diet version are just drinking a different type of harmful substance because they contain artificial sweeteners instead of caloric sweeteners. Long term soda drinking sabotages your health and oral health.

What this means for your teeth
The high amounts of phosphoric acid found in soda can wear your enamel layer away and then the artificial caramel color stains your teeth a dull brown. The sugar found in soda feed the destructive bacteria that live in your mouth, resulting in decay-producing acids. And that’s just the beginning.

Studies show that too much soda can weaken your jawbone which increase your chance of losing teeth. Soft drinks contain high amounts of phosphorus. This mineral can leach calcium from your bones. This also affects your teeth adversely. Your jawbone may weaken from insufficient calcium and its grasp on your teeth becomes weak. Eventually, your teeth will loosen and fall out.

This especially effects young people. The soda companies spend billions marketing to this generation. Those who grow up having poor dietary habits, like drinking soda and not getting enough calcium, tend to have jaws of much older adults. Also because calcium is such an important nutrient for women, those with poor dietary habits often loose their teeth by the time they are in their 30’s.

Children, especially, should not drink soda. Instead of an empty calorie drinks like soda kids should consume things that are nutrient dense and high in calcium. Of course diary foods contain calcium but we encourage you to look beyond the diary aisle for better health. A bonus to eating your calcium from a plant source is you get a natural dose of folate and vitamin K. Folate is a B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells and vitamin K helps the blood to clot and prevent excessive bleeding.

Here are some non dairy examples to help you do so:
Blackstrap molasses
Leafy green vegetables like kale, broccoli, Swiss chard, spinach, collard greens, bok choy and mustard greens
Nuts; especially almonds and hazelnuts
Sesame seeds
Calcium fortified orange juice
Kidney, navy, black, lima and pinto beans
Whole grains
Soy Milk
So how much calcium do we need? Children ages 1-3 need 500 mg/ day, ages 4-8 need 800 mg/day, ages 9-18 need 1300 mg/ day, adults 19-50 need 1000 mg/ day, ages 50+ need 1200 mg/ day. So next time you are thirsty try a glass of plain, pure water, soy milk or orange juice, instead of soda.This way your beverage of choice won't stain your teeth and wear away your enamel. And if you add the foods we’ve listed above, you’ll also be strengthening your bones and teeth to ensure your natural smile lasts you a lifetime!

Call today for you complimentary smile consultation 330-494-6305.