Soda is one of the most beloved types of beverages in the United States. Many major soda brands and their iconic logos are ingrained into our social culture and history. While these beverages are tasty to some, they do contain ingredients that can damage teeth—especially with prolonged use. Our dentist encourages patients to avoid drinking soda as much as possible.
How Soda Damages Teeth
Soda contains both sugar and acid. Ingredients such as citric acid and ascorbic acid are strong enough to weaken tooth enamel, especially among regular soda drinkers. These acids weaken tooth enamel by stripping away important minerals and over time, the weaker structures of the tooth underneath enamel are exposed and unprotected to bacteria that cause tooth decay.
In addition to acidic ingredients, soda also contains sugar in various forms, including fructose and corn syrup. These ingredients are a natural food source for oral bacteria. When sugar is consumed, bacteria will begin to feed off these compounds and as a by-product, bacteria will release more acid in the mouth. Repeated exposure to sugar, especially in the form of soda, can significantly damage teeth. Soda is especially dangerous because it coats all sides of teeth.
Diet sodas are harmful to oral health as well. Although diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, they do still contain acidic ingredients.
In addition to harming tooth enamel and creating an environment where bacteria thrive, soda can harm overall oral health, too. For example, bacteria colonize and form plaque, a semi-translucent and sticky substance that coats teeth and can eventually harden into tartar. Once tartar forms, it cannot be removed with oral hygiene practices. Tartar build up is a common culprit behind the development of gum disease.
Our dentist recommends that patients drink plenty of water throughout the day to dilute acid and sugar compounds, and avoid soda as much as possible. If a patient drinks soda, he or she should use a straw to limit exposure to the teeth.
To schedule an examination or a dental cleaning, contact our practice at 312-328-9000 today.