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How bad is soda for your teeth?

Your dentist keeps telling you that drinking soda is bad for your teeth, but like most of modern society, you like to drink a Diet Coke with your lunch. Some people consume these sugary drinks on a more frequent basis. So, what's the real scoop? Does drinking soda really make that big of a difference in your mouth? Is diet soda better for the health of your teeth? Put that can of Pepsi down and read on.

 

The protective surface of your teeth is called enamel. It's what gives your teeth a white, glistening appearance. Once that enamel is worn down, the dentin begins to show through. Dentin is yellow in color. It also has holes, similar to a sponge, that lead directly to the nerves of your teeth. Once the enamel is gone, teeth become sensitive and more prone to decay. Is soda contributing to this?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Soda is highly acidic. The acid content is measured on the pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14. The smaller the number, the more acidic the item. A neutral substance, such as water, would have a pH of around 7 or 8. So, where does soda fall on this chart?

Most pops come in around a 4 on the pH scale. To compare, battery acid comes in as a 1 on the chart. You wouldn't put battery acid on your teeth, would you? This high acid content is what causes erosion to occur on our teeth. The sugar content is not the main culprit, so diet sodas are just as guilty.

On the popular cable show Mythbusters, the crew soaked a tooth in a cup of cola overnight. While the tooth didn't dissolve completely, it did begin to disintegrate. It if had remained in the soda for long enough, it would have dissolved all the way.

Now, I'm not willing to give up my soda cold turkey either. What we can do is rinse out our mouths after drinking it. Consider using a straw to reduce the amount of contact it has with your teeth. Protect your enamel as much as possible - once it's gone, you'll never get it back.