Are carbonated drinks bad for your teeth? New alternative (i.e. sugar free / limited) soft drinks have hit the market recently. These drinks are shifting the way we think about traditional sugary ‘rot your teeth’ drinks. We can place ‘classic’ soft drink / soda on one side and newer ‘lightly sparkling no sugar’ drinks as the other.
Usually there are two things in soft drink that will cause harm to our teeth:
- First issue is sugar – bacteria in our mouths metabolise this sugar and produce acid as a by product which in turn causes tooth decay – more sugar equals more decay. The solution to this is to avoid drinking sugary drinks (this is good for your health anyway and starves bacteria of food source) and avoid exposure of the sugar to our teeth (be sure to rinse thoroughly with water afterwards).
- The second issue you’ll experience from drinking soft drinks is acid wear; the PH scale measures how acidic or basic something is. A 7 is a neutral result (i.e. the same as water), and less than 7 is acidic (e.g. lemons).
More about PH Scales
A PH scale of more than 7 is basic (like bicarb soda). Our saliva has a ph of 7.4 – anything with a PH of 5.5 or less is so acidic that it will dissolve our teeth. The more acidic the quicker it dissolves. Lemons have a PH of 2, cola 2.5 and sparkling water has a PH level of approx 4.5-5.5 depending on brand. So sparkling water is definitely less dissolving potential than cola, but still more than water. You can minimise the affect of acid on your teeth by having less acidic drinks (more waters), lessening exposure (drink through a straw) or making sure you don’t brush your teeth 30 mins or so after drinking or eating acidic drinks or anything really aside from water.
Carbonated drinks and your teeth: key takeaways
Realistically, moderation here is key, with the newer age drinks. If you are sensible and drink 1-2 a day (thus minimising long term exposure to the slightly acidic drink) through a straw and wait 30 mins before brushing you’ll be fine. These sugarfree sodas are a great new age solution for a refreshing drink. For soda/soft drink sadly – there’s never really a great time to drink them – especially if you can tolerate these newer drinks.
Any questions? Please feel free to contact us or make an appointment with the friendly team at Polished Dental.