There’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence in soda, but it seems that many Americans consume far too much of the sugary swill for their dentists’ (and doctors’) liking. Dr. Todd Pizzi, a cosmetic dentist in the 01545 area, shares insights into the effects of soda on your oral health. Pay close attention—especially if you’re like the average American, who drinks an estimated 43 gallons of soda per year.
Nothing Sweet, Just Scary
If that doesn’t catch your attention, you’ll appreciate these unsettling statistics about your soda habit:
- Each time you take a sip of soda, your teeth are subjected to an acid attack lasting up to 20 minutes. Every single time.
- Coke and Pepsi are almost as acidic as battery acid.
- Barq’s root beer is the least acidic popular soda option.
- Root beer also contains more sugar than Coke and Pepsi.
Soda Brings the Sugar
It’s common knowledge that a diet high in sugar contributes to a lifetime of oral health problems, especially tooth decay. The sugar itself doesn’t attack the tooth enamel; bacteria living in your mouth are to blame. Consuming sugar as fuel, these bacteria produce acids as they mix with food and liquid to form yellow plaque on the surface of your teeth. As for the sugar content of soda, a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has roughly the equivalent of 17-18 sugar cubes.
Soda Is Very Acidic
It may not have sugar, but this doesn’t mean it is entirely safe for your teeth. All soda, whether diet, sugar-free, or otherwise, is highly acidic. Constantly exposing your teeth to this acidity contributes to enamel erosion, tooth decay, and unsightly yellow or brown stains. Over time, not even professional teeth whitening can remove these years-old stains.
Is there a way to enjoy soda safely?
The only way you can prevent 100% of damage to your teeth is to abstain from drinking soda altogether. Otherwise, you can take steps to minimize these damages. Start by drinking your soda through a straw, as this bypasses most of your teeth. Avoid consuming your soft drink without eating something. Chewing and swallowing helps produce more saliva, which will help rinse away residue. You can also use water to rinse your mouth thoroughly. Dr. Pizzi cautions that you shouldn’t brush your teeth within a half-hour of drinking soda or any other acidic beverage; doing so could inflict further damage to your weakened tooth enamel.
About Your Shrewsbury Dentist
Has your soda habit wrought havoc on your teeth? To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact our Shrewsbury, MA dentist office at (508) 842-8838. We welcome residents of Shrewsbury, Boylston, North and South Grafton, Milford, and the surrounding communities.