If you’ve been visiting your dentist throughout your life, you’ve probably heard countless times how bad soda is for your teeth. You may also have learned about it in health class, TV commercials, or advertisements.
But is it a myth? After all, something that so many of us drink on a regular basis can’t be that bad for your teeth, right?
Pop is Full of Sugar
In a single 12 ounce can of cola, there can be up to 40 grams of sugar. To put this in perspective, if you’re on a daily 2000 calorie diet, it’s recommended to consume less than 50 grams of added sugar each day. Some guidelines are even stricter—recommending no more than 24 grams of added sugar for women and 36 grams for men.
Your mouth is home to a variety of bacteria, and that bacteria’s favorite thing to eat is sugar. When you drink a can of pop, you’re constantly bathing your teeth in sugar, which provides a feast for that bacteria.
Upon digesting the sugar molecules, the bacteria produces acidic waste, which is the primary culprit of tooth decay and cavities. Pop is particularly bad because it usually takes people several minutes to consume their entire drink, meaning that you add more and more sugar to your mouth with each sip.
All Right, but What About Diet Soda?
Diet soda has zero grams of sugar in it. It must not be so bad for my teeth, right?
Diet soda is full of corrosive acids, including phosphoric and citric acids. Both of these are used as flavoring agents in place of sugar. However, they begin destroying your enamel the second they come into contact with your teeth.
Diet soda is also heavily carbonated. Bubbly drinks like pop are full of carbonic acid, which gives it its fizzy quality. Carbonic acid, like citric acid and phosphoric acid, is an enemy of your enamel, weakening it over a prolonged period of time and causing tooth decay.
If you have any questions about healthy snacks or drinks and ways to bolster your oral health, please give us a call at 212-753-2240. At our New York, NY practice, we work to educate our patients about the best dental care practices.