Most of us who indulge in the sugary sweetness of soda know it’s not good for our teeth. But just how bad is it? Here are some important things to consider before reaching for your next carbonated sip.
Why is soda bad for our teeth?
Coca-Cola says that it sells more than 1.9 billion servings a day in more than 200 countries. That’s cause for concern for dentists. While soda has many ingredients, the specific ones that most impact dental health are sugar, carbonated water, and artificial coloring. Here’s why:
Sugar: We all know that too much sugar is not healthy for our teeth. But did you know that one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola has 9.75 teaspoons (39 grams) of sugar in it? Don’t be fooled if you don’t see sugar on the list of ingredients. It can also be disguised as high-fructose corn syrup.
Carbonation: The carbonated water in soda is what makes it bubbly. Carbonated water contains dissolved carbon dioxide, which creates carbonic acid. Soda also contains additional acids, making the refreshingly bubbly beverages highly acidic.
Soda’s high levels of both sugar and acidity can damage your teeth. This is because the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar. When this happens, they produce acid that destroys your teeth, making them vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities.Too much acid in your mouth can also damage tooth enamel by a process called erosion. This is not decay but rather it destroys the enamel by a chemical wear process that can render your teeth sensitive.
Artificial coloring: Coca-Cola, among other sodas, uses caramel coloring to create its signature brown hue. While this coloring enhances the soda’s aesthetic, it can take away from yours. The dye can yellow your teeth over time.
Limit Your Intake
Try limiting your soda intake, and if you can’t, at least use a straw. Obviously, the best option is to drink water instead. And don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year for regular teeth cleanings.