For generations, dentists have warned of the dangers of drinking soda and the damage soft drinks cause to teeth and oral health. Many assume the harmful effects of soda are from the sugar content, making diet soda a viable alternative. While this is partly true, the real culprit is acidity. Highly acidic beverages and foods breakdown enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to cavities and other damage or decay.
Acids attack tooth enamel
Soda and soft drinks are made with citric acid or similar acids that are used to create the flavors and preserve the beverages for longer shelf storage. The acids also enhance color and retain the color and flavor for longer periods of time. When consumed, acidic beverages like soda come in contact with teeth and the acids wear down enamel over time. The more often the soda is consumed and the longer it is held in the mouth, the greater the damage. This is true for sugar-free soft drinks as well, including powdered drink mixes.
Soda can cause dental cavities
Enamel is very strong and protects teeth for a very long time, but when exposed to acidic substances that measure below a approximate 5.5 critical pH value, the enamel starts to wear away. This leaves teeth susceptible to deeper staining, decay, and dental caries or cavities. Coffee and tea beverages have variable pH values around 6.0 to 4.0, depending on the type of coffee or tea and how each is prepared. In comparison, most soda and soft drink beverages have a pH below 3.0, which is highly acidic.
Teeth are at the forefront of everything that passes into the mouth, so it’s essential to reduce risk when consuming soft drinks. Limit consumption of these beverages and when consumed, brush and floss soon after if possible, or use sugarless chewing gum to increase acid-reducing saliva in the mouth. Cleanings and checkups are beneficial but the more attentive a patient is to what he or she consumes on a daily basis, the more effective dentist visits will be. Contact our experienced dentistry team today at 214-821-8639 for more information about improving teeth health and making teeth-friendly diet and beverage choices.