What could be better on a warm Friday night than popping the tab on your favorite soda? When it comes to quenching your thirst, sodas of all kinds are a popular choice. However, drinking them has long been linked to various health concerns, including dental health issues. So, obviously, the answer is to switch to diet versions, right? Maybe not!
If you want to learn which version of these popular fizzy drinks is better for your dental health, continue reading.
Challenger 1: Regular Soda
To begin, turn your attention to the first challenger, regular soda. It gets a bad reputation due to the high amounts of sugar it contains. Looking at the nutritional information on your average can, you can find 39 – 46 grams of sugar per serving! For reference, the daily recommended amount per day is 36 grams.
This sugar can wreak havoc on dental health. Your oral bacteria feed on sugar and produce acids that attack tooth enamel, leading to cavities and decay.
Challenger 2: Diet Soda
Diet sodas are artificially sweetened beverages that contain zero or minimal calories. They are often marketed as healthier alternatives to regular sodas because they don’t contain sugar. Instead, they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or stevia.
Are Diet Sodas Better for Teeth?
So, if you can’t trust regular sodas, are diet sodas okay? It appears they have low to no sugar content! Unfortunately, no. While diet sodas sport lower or non-existent sugar content compared to their regular challengers, they still pose risks to dental health.
While it’s true that sugar is one of the leading contributors to cavities and tooth decay, the acidity is just as high (if not higher) in diet sodas. High acidity erodes your enamel over time, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity. The same can be said of some fruit juices that contain citric acid and other types of naturally occurring acidity.
Mitigating the Risks
So, since you can’t rely on either version of your favorite pop to keep your teeth healthy, you’ll need to do some mitigation. Here are some tips for drinking sodas while preserving your dental health:
- Limit Consumption: Reduce your intake of both diet and regular sodas to protect your dental health.
- Drink Water: Sip water along with your soda to wash away sugar and acid. This will also help you stay hydrated and maintain oral health.
- Use a Straw: Use a straw when you indulge, minimizing contact between the liquid and your teeth.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to remove plaque and bacteria from your mouth.
You don’t have to cut soda from your diet completely, you just need to moderate your intake in some way. While both diet and regular sodas can have adverse effects on teeth, good oral hygiene practices help mitigate the risks. By being mindful and staying proactive, you can enjoy your favorite fizzy beverage while avoiding your dentist’s side-eye.
About the Practice
Dr. Josh Branco and Dr. Ah Young Kim are a dental super team at Sage Dental Care. They enjoy spending time with their patients, helping them understand their situation and the treatment options available to them. Whether you need one tooth fixed or a full-mouth smile restoration, you’re in capable hands. To schedule an appointment, call (775) 677-0790 or visit the website to explore other services they provide.