The fizz behind sugary drinks. shhh…..

These days it is very hard to not take notice of sugar-loaded soft drinks when we go shopping. We are constantly bombarded with special discounts on a weekly basis. With entire aisles of choice for soft drinks and energy drinks, it is becoming harder to ignore them.

What most people do not realise is that fizzy drinks have two negative effects on our teeth and health:

1) the sugar content in fizzy drinks is very high

2) fizzy drinks are very acidic.

Drinking significant amounts can cause teeth to dissolve causing problems such as pain, extreme sensitivity, eating difficulty and change in facial appearance (due to loss of tooth height structure). Correcting these problems become a complicated, timely and costly task and so it is highly advised to seriously limit the amount of fizzy drinks you consume.

Soft drinks and energy drinks contain 27g of sugar per 250ml. The homebrand varieties usually contain 31g of sugar per 250ml. Zero sugar variants may seem like a healthier alternative, however, they contain artificial, non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame (sweetener 951) and acesulphame potassium (sweetner 950).

There are highly reported concerns amongst health circles that theses artificial sweeteners may potentially be carcinogenic.

Sugars provide energy for bacteria in our mouth. It is the bacteria that causes problems such as gum disease and dental decay. As bacteria metabolise the sugars in our diet, they produce acid that cause further problems.

Irregular sugar spikes make it difficult for our bodies to stabilise body sugar levels leading to chronic problems such as diabetes. Irregular sugar levels also cause a person to become more tired and thirsty. Energy drinks contain high sugar levels too. While they help to keep you awake and buzzing, you eventually become tired once the caffeine and sugar hit wears off.

The acidity in soft drinks cause the teeth to become weaker. Acids dissolve substances that they come in touch with and your teeth are no different. Despite using fluoridated toothpaste and drinking fluoridated water, even drinking a can per day puts your teeth at considerable risk of dental erosion and decay.

The original soft drinks contain food acid 338 which is phosphoric acid and sugar free variants contain both phosphoric acid and sodium citrates, food acid 331.

While we can not expect everyone to not ever drink soft drinks, we suggest a maximum of one can per week for an adult.

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