When most patients think of pop and dental decay, they are thinking strictly about the sugar content, which is the bacteria-feeding ingredient in this common beverage leading to one conclusion that diet pop must be better for your teeth! That does seem logical, but there is more to how all pop can contribute to dental decay.
The main culprit in all pop that leads to decay is the acid content. Diet pop and other sugar-free drinks are usually highly acidic, which weakens the enamel on your teeth and makes them more susceptible to cavities and dental erosion. The level of phosphoric acid, citric acid, and/or tartaric acid is usually high in sugar-free drinks so it is best to avoid them.
Some patients also enjoy drinking orange juice or other citrus juices. These drinks are high in citric acid and have the same effect on the enamel of your teeth.
We know the acidity of diet pop and sugar-free drinks contributes to tooth decay, so what about regular pop? Everyone knows that regular pop is high in sugar - a regular 12 ounce can contains roughly ten teaspoons of sugar! This also includes sports drinks and energy drinks, which are highly acidic and loaded with sugar too. So these drinks are a double-whammy of sugar and acidity that are not healthy for your teeth or your overall health.
The problems caused by both diet and regular pop is exacerbated when you sip on either of them throughout the day. If you drink a pop all in one sitting, you will not be washing sugar and/or acids over your teeth all day long and your saliva will have a chance to neutalize the pH in your mouth.
LESSENING THE IMPACT
- DRINK ALL POP OR ACIDIC DRINKS THROUGH A STRAW
- RINSE WITH WATER IMMEDIATELY AFTER CONSUMPTION
- AVOID BRUSHING YOUR TEETH FOR A MINIMUM OF 20 MINUTES
- AVOID DRINKS THAT HAVE ACIDS LISTED ON THE INGREDIENTS LABEL