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Is diet soda bad for your teeth?

By May 30, 2013November 30th, 2018Tooth Decay

I’ve always been a big soda drinker, but now that I have teenagers, I want to set a good example for them. My soda drinking has resulted in several cavities, and I don’t want my girls to follow my example. Instead of going cold turkey off of the soda, I am wondering if 0 sugar diet soda is a good alternative for my teeth. Thanks. Beth E.

Beth – Instead of sugar, diet soda contains sugar substitutes, such as saccharine, mannitol, or sorbitiol. All of these substitutes break down into acid, which erodes tooth enamel and promotes tooth decay.

In addition to sugar in soda, the acid in soda makes your enamel more prone to erosion, and it leads to tooth decay. Advanced decay may require more than just a dental filling; a dental crown may be needed to protect the tooth. But soda is not the only acid-containing beverage; energy drinks, fruit juice, and lemonade are all acidic.

If you must drink soda, limit your intake of it. Sipping on soda throughout the day causes more teeth erosion than drinking the soda at once. After drinking soda, rinse your mouth to neutralize the soda. Brushing your teeth immediately after drinking soda is not recommended, because the enamel has been weakened from the acid and sugar in the soda. Brushing your teeth will weaken the enamel more.

Ensure your children get regular dental checkups and cleanings.

This post is sponsored by Naperville dentist Dr. Anthony LaVacca.

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