We have all heard about watching teeth dissolve in a cup of cola.  But what really happens in the mouth during sipping?  In short, sugary, acidic beverages result in loss of tooth structure.  Milk and water are healthiest for teeth.

Consider these facts:

  • Tooth enamel dissolves at a pH of 5.5 or lower.
  • 7.0 is neutral.  pH above 7.0 is basic.  pH below 7.0 is acidic.
  • Diet or “sugar-free” soda contains acid that erodes enamel.
  • Acid in soft drinks is the main cause of weakened enamel.
  • After drinking an acidic drink, the acid attacks enamel for 20 minutes.

Here is the pH of some  popular drinks:

Water 7.0 (neutral)
Barq’s Root Beer 4.0
Minute Maid Orange Juice 3.8
Propel Fitness Water 3.4
Red Bull 3.3
Sprite 3.3
Diet Coke 3.1
Diet Pepsi 3.0
Arizona Iced Tea 2.94
Hi-C Punch 2.82
Gatorade 2.9
SoBe Energy Citrus 2.6
Minute Maid Lemonade 2.6
Pepsi 2.5
Diet Schweppes Tonic Water 2.5
Coca-Cola Classic 2.4
Battery Acid 1.0

What you can do:

Drink soda rarely.  (The more frequent you drink it, the more damage it does.)

Use a straw to decrease contact with your teeth.

Avoid soda or juice before bed because the liquid coats your teeth and stays there while sleeping, when teeth are more vulnerable due to lower salivary flow.

Choose milk or water instead.

Rinse with water after drinking soda or juice.

Use fluoride toothpaste.  Sugar and acids demineralize enamel.  Fluoride remineralizes it.


Dr. Cook

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