Do you see co-workers sipping on a drink every work morning until they leave the office for lunch? Or do you and your friends return to the office from lunch with a to-go cup that they sip on an entire afternoon? If so, we hope those drinks are sugar-free. But if they are not, that’s a lot of sugar hitting the teeth over an extended period. Sipping on a sugary beverage for more than 20 minutes is a sure way to develop cavities.
As you probably know, the top layer of the teeth is enamel, which is hard and protects the teeth from a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. If you’re drinking sugary drinks over several hours, your teeth’s enamel is being attacked over and over, thereby eroding the teeth, which can cause decay and likely a cavity will form. In fact, according to the American Dental Association, each time you eat a sugary snack or drink, your teeth are vulnerable to damage from the acids for the next 20 minutes, so brush after you eat or drink.
Rather than sipping sugary drinks throughout the day, finish that drink within 20 minutes, and then brush your teeth, or, at the very least, rinse your mouth out with water. If you’re sucking on sugary candy throughout the day, same solution applies — finish it within 20 minutes, brush or rinse.
We know that drinking water has many benefits. But did you know that drinking water between snacks and meals helps prevent decay and cavities? It’s true.
Indeed, the magic of 20-minutes plays a role in preventing cavities. Finish those sugary drinks and snacks within 20 minutes so the sugar cannot convert to acid and attack your teeth. And don’t forget to brush or rinse!