What Does Soda Do to Your Teeth? A Guide

It comes as no surprise to hear that soda consistently ranks as a top-selling drink in America. In fact, regular soda makes up about 65% of the sugary drink market in the US.

So, if you’ve got a soda addiction, you’re certainly one of many. Every day, nearly 50% of adults and two-thirds of children consume some sort of sugary drink, of which various forms of soda take precedence. 

At a certain point, though, many soda lovers wonder—what does soda do to your teeth? Is there a “safe” amount of soda to consume? 

Keep reading for all your pressing questions about pop.

Scientifically Speaking: What Does Soda Do to Your Teeth? 

You might not be ready to hear this, but unfortunately, yes—soda does play a part in decaying your teeth. It’ll have you finding a dentist before you can say Coca-Cola. How oftenyou drink soda also plays a part in the seriousness of the decay.

The primary reason for the negative interaction between soda and tooth matter is sugar—of which there are sixteen teaspoons in one 20-ounce Coke. Our mouth’s bacteria, combined with the sugar in your drink, forms an acid that eats a tooth’s enamel slowly but surely. 

If you think getting a sugar-free soda solves your problem, you’d sadly be wrong. Sodas with and without sugar contain their own acids, such as phosphoric acid, which can be harmful when consumed in excess. These acids serve specific purposes, such as keeping bacteria at bay.

Do all sodas contain the same amount of this dreaded, teeth-hungry sugar? In fact, they don’t. You might be shocked to hear that the lighter-colored sodas, such as ginger ale, are anywhere from two to five times more damaging than darker-colored sodas such as Coke, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and the like. 

Is There a Safe Amount of Soda to Consume?

Is it all doom and gloom—or can you still enjoy a guilt-free soda every once in a while?

We bet you can guess what we’re about to say . . . It’s all about moderation.

Soda is particularly harmful to the teeth when it’s a daily drink or something that gets consumed back-to-back (for example, having three sodas over the course of dinner at a restaurant). Similarly, if your palette is not cleansed in between with something like water, the acids have more staying power.

So, the next time you pop a soda can, consider letting that be your one. Every once in a while, you may celebrate with a second or even third round. If that’s the case, wait for twenty to thirty minutes between drinks, have a pint of water, and bonus points for brushing them about a half-hour later. 

Oh—and use a straw! This allows some of the soda to bypass the teeth.

Now We Know the Effects of Soda on Teeth . . .

And it’s not looking good for the ol’ incisors, molars, and the rest of the crew in your mouth.

There comes a point in many soda drinkers’ lives where they ponder the question, What does soda do to your teeth? Now that you know the answer—will you continue to drink the sugary goodness, or will you cut back? Can you resist the sweet nectar in favor of a brighter smile? 

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