Soft drinks have become such an integral part of many people’s diet that quitting them seems like a daunting task. There are many good reasons to give up your soft drink habit though, including good health and a beautiful smile.

What’s So Bad About Soft Drinks?
Soft drinks contain lots of sugar. This not only contributes to obesity and can lead to a range of health problems, but also causes tooth decay. Sugar fuels bad mouth bacteria that harm your teeth. Sugar’s not the only harmful ingredient in soft drinks though. They also contain phosphoric acid, which causes erosion of your tooth enamel. Combining these two ingredients in one sweet beverage creates a recipe for (dental) health disaster.

Quitting is Easy Right?
Quitting soft drinks is not as easy as you would think. Several studies have shown that sugar is a very addictive substance. One study actually shows that sugar might be as addictive as cocaine.
Getting rid of your soft drink habit is tough, but once you’ve gone without it for a while, your cravings will start to die down and any soft drinks you still consume will taste overly sweet. Getting to this point takes some willpower though.

Here are some tips to make quitting soft drinks a bit easier:

· Stop buying them at the supermarket. Having soft drinks waiting to be consumed in your fridge will make it much harder to quit the habit. If you don’t buy them, you’re much less likely to drink them.
· Set a weekly cheat day. Quitting soft drinks completely is much harder than not consuming soft drinks 6 days out of 7. Allow yourself one cheat day per week on which you are allowed to drink soft drinks.
· Get an accountability partner. Try to get someone else on board so you can help hold each other accountable. Even if you’re trying to quit a different habit, having an accountability partner can still make a big difference. A habit tracking app such as lift.do could also help with motivation.

Limiting Soft Drink Damage
To limit the damage that can be done to your teeth when you do drink soft drinks there are a few measures you can take. You can use a straw to drink them so there’s less contact with your teeth. Also make sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards or chew gum (which will stimulate saliva production). Always maintain a good oral health routine and schedule checkups with your dentist every 6 months.