Sorry, Diet soda lovers, but it seems that it’s not just sugar that can ruin your pearly whites! You might believe that opting for a diet soda instead of its evil twin-sibling, sugar-laden soda is better for your health. On the contrary, the key teeth-eroding ingredient in a soda is not sugar alone. Diet soda is bad for your teeth.
The Key Culprits
Do you know what makes your soda so wonderfully bubbly? Carbonated water, which is produced by dissolving carbonic acid in water. Typically, sodas contain other acids as well, such as phosphoric and citric, the later one being present in those that have a lemony taste.
Other acids in sodas serve to improve taste and preserve the drink, so they behave as standard flavor enhancers and additives, but they are equally bad for your teeth. Combine that with the acid that your mouth bacteria produce when they “eat” sugar, and you have a killer combo. Sorry to burst your bubble!
The Effect on your Smile
Dental experts compare an avid soda consumer’s mouth to that of a heavy drug addict. A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, but unless you terribly need motivation to quit your soda habits, don’t Google the term. It’s terrifying, to say the least.
In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, your enamel is bound to suffer greatly after long-term consumption of soda, with no difference between diet and regular. Mountain Dew, canned ice tea and Sprite came out as “winners”, causing the most damage, followed by Pepsi and Cola drinks.
Smart Soda Drinking
Yes, you’re best off without the bubbly goodies, but if you still insist on having an occasional soda, it’s best to change the way you drink it.
First of all, don’t let the soda stay too long in your mouth, and after you finish the drink, rinse with tap water. And finally, never brush your teeth immediately after drinking soda – that can only damage your enamel even more, so wait for at least an hour.
Your safest bet? Water, of course! But brewed coffee, tea and root beer are also teeth-friendly, if you crave for a different type of refreshment.
Keep in mind that lemony drinks contain plenty of citric acid, which is said to be almost as corrosive as battery acid. Sugared juices might not be as acidic, but they sure are sweet, and that’s your teeth’s second-worst nightmare.
Care for your lovely smile by making healthy choices every day, not just during those few minutes of brushing, and you’ll show off those pearls for years to come!