Don’t Drink That Acid!

Did you know that popular diet and sugared sodas are nearly as corrosive to dental enamel as battery acid? Prolonged exposure to soft drinks can lead to significant enamel loss, even though many people consider soft drinks to be harmless or just worry about their sugar content and the potential for putting on pounds.

The erosive potential of colas is 10 times that of fruit juices in just the first three minutes of drinking, one showed. Research, published in Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) Journal  of General Dentistry, reports that drinking any type of soft drink hurts teeth due to the citric acid and/or phosphoric acid in the beverages.

Tooth enamel is the strongest substance in the human body. This semi-clear, hard, outer layer protects teeth from the daily wear and tear of biting and chewing, as well as temperature extremes from hot or cold foods and drinks. Enamel also guards against acids and chemicals that can damage teeth. When this shell erodes, your teeth are more likely to get cavities and decay. You may notice you react more to hot or cold foods, drinks, and sweets, since they can get through holes in your enamel to the nerves inside.

What about Energy drinks? Researchers at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry found that energy drinks and sports drinks, such as Gatorade and Red Bull, eroded the enamel more than soda and fruit juices.

We recommend the following to help protect tooth enamel:

  • Reduce the frequency of consumption of acidic foods and drinks
  • Avoid swishing acidic drinks
  • Drink the acidic beverage at once, instead of sipping it all day
  • Use a straw to avoid the teeth from being immersed in liquid
  • Substitute acidic beverages with water
  • Rinse mouth with water after drinking acidic beverage instead of brushing. The bristles of the toothbrush may damage the enamel.