If you are a soda drinker, you are leaving your smile more vulnerable by the sip – literally! Research has found with each sip of a sugary drink, there is an “acid attack” on our teeth for 16-20 minutes. Therefore, if you take up to an hour to drink a can of Coke, your teeth have been taking an acid bath for an hour and 20 minutes.
What’s wrong with an acid bath? It erodes your tooth enamel and is a key component in what forms a cavity. In fact, soda makes a strong contribution to the four ingredients that are needed for tooth decay to begin:
- Oral bacteria
Oral bacteria are present in your mouth naturally and a can of Coke for instance is highly acidic. While battery acid has a pH of 1.0, Coke is closely behind with a 2.4 pH. Therefore, when you pair a carbohydrate (that eventually breaks down into sugar) with a diet soda or you drink a can of regular soda, you’re essentially giving tooth decay everything it needs to succeed.
Without a doubt, water is the best beverage of choice – both for your dental health and your overall health. However, if you do choose to indulge in your favorite soda, there are some things you can do to protect your smile. Try the following as you drink your soda next time:
- Use a straw
- Don’t sip all day
- Rinse with water, brush or chew sugar-free gum afterwards
Remember that cavities do not always cause pain and they are rarely visible. Therefore, you’ll need to attend your regular six-month exams with your dentist to ensure your soda habit is not sabotaging your smile!