You know what they all say, “Sip All Day, Get Decay!” It’s not only a catchy phrase, it’s the truth! There is a clear correlation between soda consumption and tooth decay, as well as to other health complications including diabetes, kidney problems, and obesity. We all are familiar with the fact that bacteria in the mouth convert sugars and carbohydrates from the foods and beverages you consume to acids, which decays tooth enamel. What’s even scarier is that the acids can remain in the mouth for 20 minutes after snacking or drinking.
To avoid this reality, many turn to diet soda thinking that there will be no consequences for their teeth. You may have even been asked at one point or another, “Which is better, Diet Coke or regular Coke?” It turns out that their damaging effects on teeth are roughly the same!
What many individuals may not realize is that diet soda is still acidic, which negatively impact the health of your teeth. Research from the Minnesota Dental Association, the Missouri Dental Association, and the University of Cincinnati Biology Department shows the pH of a regular Coke is around 2.6, which is highly acidic. On the other hand, the pH of diet coke is about 3.2. For comparison, the pH of battery acid is 1, which isn’t too far off from the pH values of soda! While diet soda may not be as bad as regular soda, they do contain acids, which can cause serious damage to teeth. Phosphoric acid and citric acid is often present in many diet sodas to add flavor to the drink. These acids can demineralize and decalcify teeth. Sometimes the damage may require fillings, root canals, dental crowns, dental implants, dentures or other dental procedures.
Not to mention, many beverages use artificial flavorers and sweeteners in place of sugar for the purpose of maintaining the flavor. Although they may not contain sugar, they can make beverages acidic and can cause many problems for your teeth.
In addition to having negative oral health effects, diet soda can have a significant impact on your kidneys. According to an 11-year study at Harvard Medical School with 3,000 women participants, researchers discovered that diet cola is linked with a two-fold increased risk for kidney failure. Kidney function began to decline as women drank two or more sodas a day.
A consistent consumption of both regular and diet soda is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Children and young adults are most prone to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is not yet fully developed. Unfortunately, many children and young adults in the United States have decreased their intake of milk and increased their intake of soda. In fact, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, children are consuming it more than double the rate of the last 10 years. Soda consumption among adults has grown approximately 25 percent!
A healthy diet plays an important role in your overall health. It is essential to choose foods and beverages that provide vitamins and minerals for not only a healthy body, but also a healthy mouth. Avoid giving the label, “diet or sugar-free” the same meaning as, “healthy for teeth!” You can prevent tooth decay and other health problems by staying hydrated with water and implementing good oral health habits. If you are a soda-lover, make sure to drink in moderation. Also, limit your intake of carbonated beverages, including sports drinks and juice. Most importantly, make sure that you are not substituting acidic beverages for water.
Feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group if you have any thoughts or concerns; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment and consultation.
Your little ones and teens are welcome to visit our pediatric dentist Dr. Van. Dr. Emad is happy to help with your orthodontic needs. For wisdom teeth extractions or any other oral surgery needs Dr. Ghazi would be more than willing to help.