Sorry to burst your bubble, but the reality is that no matter how refreshing that sweet, fizzy soda tastes, there's a chance it could be doing some damage to your teeth. But with so many products on the market, are they all really that bad for you? Answers to some of your most pressing soft drink questions are about to be answered. Get to the bottom of various soda claims and find out if there's a workaround that lets you keep your favorite carbonated beverage on tap without traumatizing your teeth.
Neither option is a healthy choice for your teeth, but upon regular consumption, caramel hued soft drinks have been known to stain teeth more quickly. Cosmetic differences aside, the extremely high sugar content of any soda, regardless of color causes lasting dmamage to tooth enamel, resulting in decay, cavities and/or tooth loss in extreme situations.
The appeal of diet sodas is understandable, especially when the packaging comes with alluring labels of "sugar free" or "calorie free". But the fact of the matter is even with sugar substitutes, diet soda is still extremely acidic. This means diet soda will still have the same corrosive effect on the enamel and should be avoided to prevent tooth damage.
Similar to the misconception about diet sodas, the threat of tooth decay, cavities and other oral health problems isn't based on the type of sweetener used. No matter the source of sugar, enamel erosion will happen with regular consumption of any sweetened drink.
Using a straw can limit contact of sugar and acid with the surface of your teeth, but only when positioned correctly. Ideally, the opening of the straw should be directed towards the back of the mouth. but the likelihood for accidental contact is still high if you become distracted or inadvertently swish the liquid in your mouth. Ultimately, the best way to prevent tooth decay due to soft drinks is to avoid drinking them altogether.
If you find carbonated beverages especially refreshing, switch to a seltzer. You'll get the same fizz without the threat of tooth decay. For a flavorful spin, dress up seltzer or plain water with cut up fruit (instead of turning to juice, which can erode teeth enamel due to its fructose content). Milk is also another good choice due to the enamel fortifying calcium it contains; however it does contain natural sugar, lactose - so never have a glass before bed without brushing your teeth.
For those unable to put aside their love of soft drinks, take these steps to minimize tooth decay and other soda related oral problems:
New drinks are always hitting the shelves, but many may not live up to their health claims. Before making something your beverage of choice, get your dentists's perspective to understand how it can impact the health of your teeth.
Soda or Pop? It's Teeth Trouble by Any Name. (n.d.). Retrieved May 24, 3015 from http://www.colgate.com/app/CP/US/EN/OC/Information/Articles/Oral-and-Dental-Health-Basics/Oral-Hygiene/Oral-Hygiene-Basics/article/Soda-or-Pop-Its-Teeth-Trouble-by-Any-Name.cvsp
Melnick, M & Klein, S. (2013, March 13). Soda Myths: The Truth About Sugary Drinks, From Sodas To Sports Drinks. Retrieved May 25, 2015 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/soda-myths-facts-sugary-drinks_n_2863045.html