Have you ever noticed that gritty feeling on your teeth after you take a sip of soda, whether it be diet, sugar-free or regular? This feeling stems from the highly acidic ingredients present in all forms of soda.
It’s not a secret that soda has negative effects on not only your physical health, but your dental health as well! Maybe you opt for sugar-free or diet sodas instead, in the hopes that these drinks are less harmful.
On the contrary, if you’re considering your dental health, diet soda is not a healthier alternative to regular soda! Though diet sodas have significantly less sugar than regular sodas, sugar isn’t the only ingredient harming your teeth. In fact, the most harmful components in sodas are highly acidic additives.
Highly Acidic Additives
To compensate for the lack of sugar in diet sodas they use highly acidic additives. The levels of certain acids like phosphoric acid, citric acid and tartaric acid are higher in diet sodas. These acids are too intense for our teeth, so as they come in contact with our enamel, they perform a sort of “acid attack” on our teeth. This “acid attack” occurs for nearly 20 minutes after consuming soda. During this time, your enamel is under constant attack and destruction by these additives clinging on to your teeth. This means, if you’re a casual, consistent diet soda sipper, your teeth are constantly under attack throughout the day!
So what type of damage do these highly acidic additives in diet soda do to your teeth? They cause dental erosion! Dental erosion is the process by which your enamel is eroded and eventually destroyed. As your enamel is the outermost protective layer of our teeth, maintaining a healthy enamel is absolutely imperative for protecting the sensitive foundation of your teeth. Over time, as your enamel continues to erode, this sensitive foundation of your teeth is exposed with no layer of protection. Once the enamel is significantly destroyed, there is no way to regenerate this layer naturally. So, don’t let your enamel erode to the point of no return!
What damage does dental erosion lead to?
The destruction of enamel, or dental erosion, initially leads to tooth sensitivity. As the outermost protective layer of your tooth is deteriorating quite rapidly from the acids in diet soda, the inner, sensitive foundation of your tooth is left to fend for itself. This foundation becomes increasingly sensitive without protection. With increased tooth sensitivity, it’s uncomfortable to eat mildly cold foods, mildly hot foods and sugary foods. As the teeth are slowly decaying without the enamel, they become exceptionally vulnerable to cavities.
Drop the diet soda!
The enamel is absolutely vital for protecting your teeth! If you drink enough diet soda to erode your enamel, you will find yourself paying quite a bit of money and undergoing quite a few procedures to artificially ‘fix’ your teeth. If you just can’t put the diet soda down, avoid the sodas with the highest acidic content. Citrus sodas, such as Sprite and Mountain Dew, have the highest acid levels.
Don’t be a casual, consistent soda sipper! If you sip on diet soda (or any soda) throughout the day, your teeth are never catching a break from the “acid attack.” As long as these acids remain on your teeth, they are deteriorating your enamel and decaying your teeth. After drinking a soda, follow it with a glass of water to wash away the acids from your teeth. Keep some mouthwash handy, and rinse your mouth after drinking a soda.
But the best option of all: just don’t drink it!
Save your teeth. Save your precious enamel.
Drop the soda from your diet.
At Spillers Orthodontics, we provide Invisalign and braces for teens, Invisalign and braces for kids, orthodontics for adults (Invisalign and braces) and more to our communities in Warner Robins and Macon. (Invisalign is one of our main specialties!)
If you or a family member have been told you’re not a candidate for Invisalign, please request your free orthodontic exam with Spillers Orthodontics, the most experienced Invisalign provider in Georgia.