Robert Madden, DDS, MBA, heads Southwest Family Dentistry, a practice located near Denver, Colorado. As well as performing cosmetic and emergency dental procedures, Dr. Robert Madden advises individuals on good dental hygiene and dietary choices for healthy teeth, including watching one’s consumption of soda.
Soda has long had a bad reputation with dental health professionals, and for good reason. When a person takes a sip of soda, the sugar in the drink reacts with bacteria present in the mouth. The result of this reaction is an acid that breaks down the enamel of the tooth and makes a person more susceptible to tooth decay. This occurs in everyone who drinks soda and other sugary beverages, but children and adolescents face the greatest risk, as their tooth enamel has not finished developing.
In order to prevent damage to the teeth, either limit soda consumption or change how you drink it. Sipping even one soda slowly all day can be harmful. Each sip results in the formation of acid, and if this occurs bit by bit throughout day, the damage can add up. Rinsing the mouth out with water after drinking soda can help keep the teeth healthy if done over time.
Some people might view diet soda as a more tooth-healthy alternative since it doesn’t contain natural sugar. However, it also contains acid, and can wear down the teeth over time the same way sugared soda does. A dentist can provide additional guidance on how to care for the teeth while enjoying soda in moderation.