It’s True! Coca-Cola Ruins Your Teeth
Skin O’ My Teeth…
I’ve kept quiet for long enough; for no particular reason at all.
There have been numerous myths over time involving Coca-Cola or ‘Coke’ (not cocaine, although I’m sure it has its myths too).
I'm sure you've probably heard of these myths and this one in particular before.
Popular TV series like Brainiac and The Mythbusters have delved into these with their own experiments.
You name it, and there’s been a myth surrounding it, with Coke being used to clean up blood stains, polish metal, clean jewelry and coins, and used as a detergent.
And then there was the myth which has garnered a lot of attention over many decades, “Can Coca-Cola dissolve your teeth?” There has long been the debate over whether Coca-Cola ruins your teeth, and of course Coca-Cola will not admit to it, but I can honestly say one thing about this myth with all my heart, “Yes, it can!”
Even though I like watching The Mythbusters, they got it wrong unfortunately, when it came to testing whether this myth is true. They put a tooth in a dish filled with Coca-Cola for two days, and afterwards, they claimed that it had not dissolved, and declared the myth ‘busted’.
This shocked me no end, as I can honestly tell you that teeth do dissolve; I have the X-rays, photos and angry dentists to prove it.
First off, if you noticed the colour of that tooth when they pulled it out, it was absolutely brown. That can’t be good. That alone should be warning enough, as it stains your teeth. I’ve read that this is what contributes to tooth decay, when the sugar sticks to your teeth. Secondly, they only left it in the dish for two days, and it wasn’t in a person’s mouth. You wouldn’t think it makes a difference, but it obviously does.
"There has long been the debate over whether Coca-Cola ruins your teeth, and I can honestly say one thing about this myth with all my heart: 'Yes, it can!'"
My Bad Trip with Coca-Cola
My story started when I was thirteen. I would come home from school and drink glass after glass of the stuff. I must have had four or five glasses per day, and that lasted for a year, until my next trip to the dentist.
He nearly had a fit! He compared drinking coke to bathing your mouth in acid or brake fluid!
That’s how bad it is, especially if you swish it around in your mouth. He took action and temporarily fixed it, and told me that I had to wait until I was in my twenties until I could have anything major done, as your teeth aren’t fully developed in your early teens (the second dentist, who was better trained and educated, said a person can have it done as young as eighteen).
Years passed, and I had bad teeth and not to mention, I was grinding them too (a surprisingly common condition called ‘bruxism’). One could argue that it was this and not coke; but it wasn’t just one opinion that I received. I saw another dentist and she had the same opinion. Both dentists had patients over the years who had suffered the same thing.
The thing with bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is that it’s from side to side, and impacts the molars, at least in my case. The teeth that were ruined by the Coca-Cola were the upper front four, in between the canines (some people refer to the main two as your permanent teeth). This makes sense seeing as when you take a liquid like a soft drink in to the mouth, it makes contact with these teeth first.
The two put together are very bad as you can imagine, as one is possibly exacerbated by the other, but in my opinion, they are two separate cases.
When I got older, I was informed that because of this, I had to have my teeth capped, and have crowns put in, as well as wear a bite plate at night. If I hadn’t had the operation when I did, they told me that it would almost certainly lead to reconstructive jaw surgery later on because of the deterioration of the upper front four teeth due to Coca-Cola consumption.
Nowadays, I have new teeth after the operation that I had done years ago, and according to the lab technicians that make the crowns, I am the first person in the whole of South Africa to have four crowns in a row, done at the same time; at least that’s what they told me. My upper lip is now fuller and I have a better bite and smile.
"My dentist compared drinking coke to bathing one's mouth in acid."
Oh my god! What now? Here are some things to remember if you think you’re in trouble:
1. Think about drinking with a straw. This way the liquid will bypass your teeth and go straight to the back of your throat.
2. Don’t swish the drink around as it can coat multiple teeth and make matters worse.
3. Always rinse your mouth out with water after drinking anything, as it might not just be Coca-Cola; anything that is fizzy or has sugar in it might just contribute to damaging your teeth.
4. Water and milk are good for your teeth. Water helps neutralize any acids in the mouth, and milk can potentially build up calcium, but not enamel.
5. Diet drinks are an option, but make sure to read the contents on the side or back. If it has aspartame in it (and most do), avoid it.
6. Take good care of your teeth in general; always floss, and brush them too. Wait until half an hour has passed after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth though, otherwise you risk taking the enamel off.
7. You can use dental chewing gum, but I’ve read the ingredients of most of them, and it also has aspartame in it, which is bad.
8. A bite plate is a custom made thing. It is not the same as a gum-guard. You have to have it made especially for your teeth by a dentist. Always make sure to wash it every day with water and toothpaste with fluoride in it. You can also soak it in something that contains fluoride, like a mouthwash.
9. Crowns are also made especially for your teeth, and they are different from fillings. They are usually made out of porcelain or sometimes acrylic. Make sure not to put unneeded pressure on them, like tearing things. If they come out they have to be re-glued with dental cement.
I can say one thing about the whole debacle, “Myth confirmed”. Apologies to The Mythbusters, it’s not your fault, but I hope you read this article (they should because I sent an email to Jamie Hyneman's top secret email address a while back).
“Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.”— Johnny Carson
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© 2008 Anti-Valentine
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