According to the Center for Science in Public Interest, soda pop companies make enough soda to provide every man, woman and child in this country with 37 gallons of pop each year.

Teenagers, some of the biggest consumers of this liquid candy, drink between two and three cans of soda a day, getting nearly 15 percent of their daily calories and all of their recommended sugar from soda.

A few years ago, a Pennsylvania dentist coined the term “Mountain Dew Mouth” to describe the increasing number of children and adolescents he was seeing in his practice with multiple cavities.

Whether you call it “Mountain Dew Mouth” or soda pop mouth, dentists around the country are seeing an increase in cavities because of pop consumption. Some dentists have even noticed that children with braces who are pop drinkers run a higher risk of tooth decay. Why? Braces provide a convenient ledge for the cavity-causing bacteria to thrive.

The sugar in soda pop feeds the bacteria that live in your mouth. The bacteria then multiply and produce acids that destroy your tooth enamel. These acids will stay active in your mouth for up to 20 minutes after you finish your soda. If you sip on soda all day long, you’re putting your teeth under constant attack. Ongoing acid attacks weaken your tooth enamel, making them more susceptible to cavities.

What can you do about it? Unfortunately, even intense tooth brushing won’t solve your problem if you’re drinking soda all day long. Moderation is crucial.

First off, pay attention to the amount of soda being consumed. Companies are now packaging soda pop in gigantic 20-ounce bottles, which many kids will gulp down without even thinking about it.

Remember that even sugar-free sodas present a problem. Sugarless sodas contain carbonic acid, which has the potential to destroy tooth enamel.

Don’t sip soda for extended periods of time because you’ll prolong the acid attack on your teeth.

Brush your teeth after consuming soda or, failing that, rinse your mouth out with water.

Don’t drink soda before bedtime because the liquid pools in your mouth and coats your mouth and tongue with sugar and acid. Drink water instead of pop. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to protect against cavities. If you have receding gum line, the acid may do more damage below your gum line than above it.

Get regular dental check-ups.

And don’t forget that over consumption of soda can also lead to a host of other health problems. Studies have linked soda consumption to obesity and osteoporosis. Preliminary research also indicates there may be a link between soda consumption and kidney stones.

Article Courtesy of: Dental Dateline provided by your Chicago Dental Study member dentists.