Diet sodas may be better for your waistline, but they're bad news for your teeth. Dr. Jeffrey Johnson and Dr. Jodi Johnson, your St. Louis, MO dentists, explain how diet soda can damage your teeth and offer a few tips to prevent or reduce damage.
How do diet sodas damage teeth?
Consuming sugary drinks can increase your risk of tooth decay, but sugar isn't the only cause of cavities. Sodas, whether they're diet or full of sugar, contain phosphoric, tartaric and other acids. These acids attack your tooth enamel, causing it to erode. Once tiny breaks develop in the enamel, it's easier to develop cavities, plus your teeth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages. Drinking diet sodas frequently will also stain your teeth.
What can I do to prevent damage?
Follow these tips to reduce the damage from drinking diet soda:
- Reduce your consumption: If you can't give up diet soda completely, limiting your intake will reduce the risk of enamel damage.
- Don't dawdle: The longer the acids in diet soda remain in your mouth, the higher the chance that they'll damage your teeth. Drink sodas quickly rather than slowly sipping them over the course of an hour.
- Forget about brushing your teeth immediately: Wait at least an hour to brush your teeth after drinking a diet soda. Brushing too soon can spread acid throughout your mouth instead of removing it.
- Buy a package of straws: Keep soda away from your teeth by using a straw.
- Find a new favorite drink: Root beer doesn't contain as much acid as other diet sodas and is a good choice if you would like to gradually wean yourself off soda. Even if you can't quit drinking diet soda, it's best to alternate soda with drinks that are better for your teeth, such as milk, water, coffee or tea.
If you're a diet soda drinker, it's important to see your St. Louis dentist every six months to make sure your teeth remain healthy. Call Dr. Jeffrey Johnson and Dr. Jodi Johnson, your St. Louis, MO dentists, at (314) 427-7400 to schedule an appointment.