A guide to good dental health
How to protect your teeth and develop healthy dental habits
Good dental hygiene habits and a sensible, balanced diet are key to maintaining a healthy smile. Coca-Cola provides information on all our products to ensure you can make informed choices about our drinks.
As part of our commitment to active, healthy lifestyles for our employees and consumers, Coca-Cola keeps abreast of the latest information and advice from healthcare professionals.
A family guide to good dental health
Foods, drinks and dental health
Any food or drink that contains fermentable carbohydrates (sugars and starches), including calorific sparkling drinks, can play a role in the development of tooth decay (caries and cavities). Also, any food or drink that is acidic has the potential to play a role in enamel erosion. Through good dental hygiene and other health practices, you can help reduce the risk of tooth decay and erosion.
Tooth decay (caries) develops as carbohydrates, sugars and starches are fermented by bacteria on the teeth. This produces acids which break down or 'demineralise' the enamel on the teeth. Time is an important factor in the development of tooth decay; the less time oral bacteria is exposed to sugars and some starches, the less likely it is that acid will be produced by the bacteria causing tooth decay. Sparkling drinks naturally leave the mouth quickly after they are swallowed, which helps reduce the time of exposure.
Dental erosion is the irreversible loss of dental hard tissue due to persistent exposure to acids. Although many sparkling drinks are acidic in nature, their effect on tooth enamel is similar to that of many fruit juices, including orange juice, apple juice and grape juice. Saliva helps buffer the acids, helping to reduce the effect on tooth enamel. It also contains calcium, phosphorus and fluoride, which can help to replace minerals lost from the tooth enamel.
High fluoride toothpaste
Ensure your family uses a high fluoride toothpaste. There's a labelling system that shows the strength of the fluoride in the paste you're buying. Look for the label 'active substances' and check for levels of 1,000-1,500ppm fluoride on the packet.
The right amount of toothpaste
Adults require different amounts of toothpaste to children. A good way to judge the right amount for children is the 'fingernail method'. Use an amount equal in size to your child's fingernail. That's an adequate dose of fluoride paste for your child to brush with.
Twice a day
Build a good dental health routine. Schedule regular visits to the dentist, the frequency of which depend on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums, and build a daily routine that includes brushing your teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste - last thing at night, then on one other occasion. Spit after brushing but don't rinse - to keep the fluoride in. Clean between your teeth with dental floss or inter-dental brushes.