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Treating yourself to a soda? Use a straw

When you're drinking a sugary soda or acidic soft drink, be sure to grab a straw to help reduce your risk for cavities.

A recent report in General Dentistry, the clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, notes that drinking potentially tooth-damaging beverages with a properly positioned straw can help minimize your risk.

Researchers recommend sipping through a straw positioned toward the back of the mouth to limit the beverage’s contact with teeth.

Even then, researchers add, soda sippers should rinse with water after drinking and brush with fluoride toothpaste to protect back molars.

Frequent exposure to acids in colas, diet colas, non-cola soft drinks and commercial iced teas can erode dental enamel and lead to cavities. But enjoying an occasional soft drink and using a straw can reduce risk and, better yet, substituting water for soft drinks one or more times a day can also help keep your smile healthy.

Please contact the ADA if you have questions about this article.

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