Hey there, Florida! Time for a quick quiz from Panama City Smiles!
True or False? Tooth decay is more than just an oral health concern.
True! The health of your teeth affects your whole body because your teeth, or lack of teeth, determines what you can and cannot eat.
True or False? Sugar is a leading cause of tooth decay.
True! Everybody knows sugar causes cavities. That’s one of the reason parents have been restricting their children’s sugar intake for decades.
True or False? Since diet sodas do not contain sugar, they are perfectly safe for your teeth.
False! Diet sodas may not contain sugar, but they are still plenty bad for your teeth. People who drink a large amount of diet sodas on a regular basis are at serious risk for tooth decay, gum disease, and teeth staining.
The misconception that diet sodas are not bad for your teeth stems from the belief that sugar is the only real threat to your teeth, which is just true. Certainly, sugar bears a lot of the responsibility for tooth decay, but it does not do it on its own. It get a lot of help from acid. And acid is something that diet sodas have plenty of.
The Dangerous Acids in Diet Sodas
Since they do not contain sugar, diet sodas will often use food acids as a flavoring. They make the drink more tangy and give the carbonation a little punch. These acids are what make diet soda so bad for your teeth.
Phosphoric Acid – You may seen the old trick where someone uses soda to remove rust from an old car bumper, or to clean a tarnished penny. The reason these tricks work is because of phosphoric acid.
Phosphoric acid is found in naturally in quite a few fruits and vegetables, but it also very corrosive, which makes it especially hard on your tooth enamel. It eats away at the your enamel, weakening it to the point that it can no longer effectively protective your teeth from decay.
The worse thing about phosphoric acid, though, is that it keeps your body from properly absorbing calcium. Normally, your body would use calcium to repair your enamel in a process called remineralization. But if your body can’t absorb calcium, this process can’t take place, which leaves your teeth in their weakened, vulnerable state.
Citric acid – The thing that makes this acid so troubling not just its corrosive nature, but how ubiquitous it is. You will find citric acid in just about every drink you look at, not just diet sodas. Its in regular sodas, sports drinks, fruit juices, and even vitamin water. It seems like you just can’t get away from citric acid.
This goes to show you that water is really the only thing to drink consistently and daily.
Water Is the Answer
Another quick quiz.
What drink helps prevent tooth decay? What drink fights the causes of gum disease? What drink can reverse the effects of diet soda on the teeth?
Water is the the answer to all these questions.
The worst thing about drinking diet sodas is that they are not water, which is arguably the most healthy thing you can put in your body. As far as your oral health is concerned, water hydrates you, so that your mouth stays moist and produces plenty of saliva. It also washes away food particles and sugar, as well as neutralizes acid.
Water is so effective at protecting your teeth that it can all but erase the risk of drinking soda, diet or otherwise, just by drinking it directly after.
So, if you have to have your diet soda, go ahead. Just drink in moderation. No one needs 64 oz of diet soda. And follow up with a large glass of water.
Don’t forget your regular checkups at Panama City Smiles.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment.