Our body’s best way of showing us the evidence is through our mouth. We can’t see our bones or internal organs but we can see our teeth and our mouths. You may have heard that our mouth is a mirror of our health.
In the case of teeth and sugary drinks, our mouth is the warning light showing the damage that sugary drinks cause. Here are two mouth photos that send that powerful warning light to everyone.
These photos are from a 19 year old who, while wearing orthodontic braces, took to drinking V drink whenever he was thirsty. You will see that some parts of his tooth have strong white enamel but around this there is a circle of damage- white decalcification or weakening of the tooth enamel and brown holes or cavities that will require fillings.
The strong white enamel were the parts of the tooth covered and protected by the braces. The damaged parts of the tooth weren’t covered by the braces and were exposed to the sugary acidic V drink. The orthodontist who sent us these images said:” This happened in 2 visits (14 weeks) when the patient consumed V when he was thirsty”
Dental enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralised substance in our bodies. When enamel is destroyed our bodies can’t make new enamel to replace it.
Sugary drinks cause the quick destruction of teeth through their acidity and sugar. ‘Diet’ and ’zero’ or artificially sweetened drinks will also cause damage to enamel due to their acidic nature.
If you want to understand the effects of sugary drinks beyond our mouth, this is a really helpful resource:
Dental decay is 100% preventable. So too is type 2 diabetes in children. Act on our mouth’s warning: water is best, forget the rest!
Dr. Anna Ferguson BDS, Healthy Futures Wai Water Project Manager.
Other mouths that send the same warning light on sweetened drinks: