Soft drinks, otherwise knows as soda or pop,
have emerged as one of the most significant dietary sources of tooth
decay. Did you know that some soft drinks contain as much as
11 teaspoons of sugar per 12 oz. serving? Most soft drinks also contain
phosphoric and citric acids that weaken tooth enamel, contributing
to the formation of cavities. In extreme cases, softer enamel combined
with improper brushing, grinding of the teeth or other conditions can
lead to tooth loss. Each time a sugary beverage or snack is
consumed, acid attacks the teeth for at least twenty minutes. Each bite
or sip brings on another acid attack.
Excessive consumption of
soft drinks affects more than your oral health. Studies also have
linked consumption of too many soft drinks with other medical problems,
such as osteoporosis, kidney stones and obesity. Research also
demonstrates that proper nutrition is linked to enhanced academic
statistics are alarming!
- In 2000, Americans drank more than
53 gallons of soft drinks per person. This amount surpassed all other
beverages, including milk and water.
- One out of every four
beverages consumed in the United States today is a soft
- Larger serving sizes have made the problem worse. The
average serving size has increased from 6.5 ozs. in the 1950s to up
to 20 ozs. today. Even 64. oz. servings are not uncommon!
day, soda consumption alone provides the average teenage boy about 15
teaspoons of refined sugars, the average girl about 10 teaspoons. These
amounts roughly equal the recommended daily limits for teens’
sugar consumption from all foods.
- It’s not just about what
you’re putting into your body, but also what you’re leaving
out. Heavy soft drink consumption is associated with lower intake of
numerous important vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Less than
50 percent of adolescent girls consume enough calcium daily, which can
lead to early development of osteoporosis. Girls who drink carbonated
beverages are five times more likely to have bone fractures than
those who don’t.
- Carbonated soft drinks are the single
biggest source of calories in the American diet, providing
about seven percent of calories. Teenagers get 13 percent of their
calories from carbonated and noncarbonated soft
that school administrators, educators, parents
and dentists all play a key role in teaching children about
proper nutrition, including how to choose healthy foods and beverages.
Teach your students how sugary beverages can cause tooth decay and what
can be done to prevent it. For optimal oral and overall health, PDA
recommends the following:
- Make Smart
- Choose beverages that hydrate and contribute to
good nutrition and oral health, such as water or milk.
Drinking eight to 12 glasses of water daily is important, and
consuming optimally fluoridated water helps to prevent tooth
- The recommendation of how much milk a person should
drink daily is based on age. Find out how many glasses of milk you should be
- If you're a parent, stock the refrigerator with
beverages containing less sugar, drink them yourself and encourage your
kids to do the same. Even diet soda or "sugar-free" drinks almost always
contain harmful acids.
- Prevention &
- After consuming a soft drink, rinse your mouth out
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
Brushing after breakfast and before bedtime is recommended.
a fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse, and ask your dentist to
apply a fluoride treatment at your next visit. Fluoride helps
to reduce cavities and strengthens tooth
Remember! Soft drinks and sugary
beverages are hard on your teeth. By reducing the amount you drink,
practicing good oral hygiene and seeking help from your dentist and
hygienist, you can counteract their effects and enjoy better oral and
"Stop the Pop" is an education
initiative originally developed by the Missouri Dental Association.
Several of the above statistics were provided by the Missouri Dental Association and
the Minnesota Dental
Stop the Pop - Missouri Dental Association
This program provides a wealth of information online, as well as
a brochure and PowerPoint presentation.
Sip All Day, Get Decay® -
copyright of Minnesota Dental Association
This campaign is nationally recognized as a critical educational tool
for dental offices and public health agencies.
Lab Lessons - Minnesota Dental Association
Conduct a variety of hands-on experiments to help students learn
about plaque, acidity and the effect sugar has
Soft Drinks: Sugar Content - Minnesota Dental
Do you know how much sugar is in your favorite soft drink? This chart
shows the sugar content in many popular drinks, broken down by serving
Encourage your students to visit PDA's online Kids' Corner, where
they'll learn about brushing, flossing, nutrition and more, as well
as enjoy interactive games and activities.
Review frequently asked questions, resources, articles and videos about
common oral health topics.
August 2009 Oral Health Update: PDA Supports
Healthy Beverages and Snacks in Schools (PDF file)
This edition of the Oral Health Update focuses on educating
policymakers and the public about excessive consumption of carbonated
and sugary beverages, and their effect on oral and overall health.