Helping Patients Make Healthy Choices… Please Call Us Today

How Soda Affects Your Teeth

Whether you call it soda, pop, cola, or coke, a soft drink is a cool, refreshing, delicious treat. Unfortunately, it’s also truly terrible for you. It’s full of empty calories and regular consumption can lead to conditions like obesity, osteoporosis, and diabetes. But here’s another distressing fact about soda: it’s terrible for your teeth.

Obviously, the sugar in soda is a major issue. Sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, causing tooth decay. An environment full of bacteria allows plaque to build up, leading to gingivitis, cavities, and gum disease. But the sugar in soft drinks isn’t the only ingredient that is harmful to your oral health. Soda contains phosphoric acid, which is what makes it fizzy. Laboratory research has shown that this acid can erode tooth enamel. Once tooth enamel erodes, there’s no way to replace it. Soft drinks, juice, and sports drinks can all cause damage to the enamel.

You might think that drinking sugarless soft drinks will be less harmful. Sadly, this is not the case. Diet soda still contains acids, and still causes erosion and tooth decay. You can’t escape the damage by drinking light-colored soda, either. While light-colored soft drinks won’t stain as much as the darker beverages, they’ll still erode your enamel and cause cavities. In fact, some light-colored soft drinks contain flavor additives that aggressively attack the teeth.

What’s the solution to this problem? Do you have to give up your favorite fizzy treats for good? Maybe not. If you don’t want to completely forgo soft drinks, just have them in moderation and follow these tips to protect your enamel:

  • Drink more water and rinse your mouth after drinking soda. Water will help prevent sugar from sticking to your teeth.
  • Consider a fizzy water. If you miss the fizz of soda, try carbonated water.
  • Use a straw to drink your soda, and drink quickly. You don’t want to allow soda to rest on your teeth. This is also a good reason not to drink soft drinks close to bedtime.
  • Wait at least an hour after a soda to brush your teeth. Brushing too soon can further damage your enamel.
  • Only drink soft drinks at mealtimes. The food will help reduce the effects of the acid by maintaining the mouth’s appropriate pH balance.
  • See your dentist regularly. Having a cleaning and a checkup twice a year helps keep your teeth healthy. A dentist who gets a good look at your teeth on a regular basis will be able to alert you to signs of erosion or any other issues that may arise.

At West County Dental, we provide personalized family dental care using state of the art procedures. Adhering to a standard of excellence, we provide comprehensive treatment, from preventive care to restorative dentistry. When you reserve a visit with West County Dental, you can be confident that our team of highly-trained dental professionals will provide you the care you need for a healthy smile. Call (314) 488-2921 or contact us through our website today!