The Renegade Pharmacist’s What Happens One Hour After Drinking a Can of Regular Coke followed by What Happens One Hour After Drinking a Can of Diet Coke has been spreading like wildfire on social media recently. In these articles the author lists the health concerns associated with consuming soft drinks. While most people will find the information to be rather common sense there are others out there that either have no knowledge of the subject or refuse to believe the health risks.
Dentally speaking, sugar and candy consumption limitation has been drilled into our heads since childhood. The first question at every childhood dental visit started with “How often are you brushing?” and was quickly followed by “How much candy are you eating?”. The times have changed and so has the rate in which sugar is consumed in our in our rat race society of prepackage and processed foods. Soda is our liquid candy and now the question every child hears is:
How much soda do you drink?
But why beat up on soda only? Let’s go a bit further and include sports drinks, juices, milk, and coffees laced with cream and sugar. All these liquids contain sugars that without moderation can cause dental, weight, and health problems.
As a dental adviser I can tell you countless stories of the problems soda and sugary drinks can cause; one such story is of a 16 year old girl that came in every 6 months for checkups. She had good homecare and had not had an issue with dental decay in the past. Well, she started high school and was able to drink whatever and whenever she wanted in class. She took up the habit of sipping all day on soda in order to get caffeine to keep her awake. At her next dental visit, a short 6 months later, she had 13 cavities! Her parents did not believe us so went for a second opinion just to come back and have the fillings completed with us. This was a very hard lesson to learn for both parent, who had to endure the financial pain, and the child, who had to go through the physical pain.
But it’s not only soda. I had a 10 year old come in for his recall exam. This child also had good homecare, came in regularly, and additionally had never had dental decay at all in the past. 6 cavities where found, and as before the parents questioned us, we educated the parent and child, and lastly completed the fillings. This all occurred because the child started the habit of consuming sports drinks all day during the summer.
Those in the office that have opened their eyes to see that soda or sugar drink intake is bad for them have made the appropriate changes. Through educating individuals they then have the choice in making the changes if they feel necessary. And those that have are so happy. They state that they save so much money by changing their habits to drinking water between meals. Others are relieved that they aren’t getting the cavities that they had in the past and others are thrilled with the reduction in their waistline.
As a dental professional I can only give people information on this subject, it is the person who has to acknowledge the issue and make the choice to change.
Additional Articles of interest: Your child’s summer: 7 tips for a healthy smile