Not So Sweet: How Soft Drinks Damage Your Teeth}

Submitted by: Nicholas Papageorgiou

Most of us are well aware that sugary soft drinks, including sports drinks, should be consumed sparingly if at all, thanks in part to dietary guidelines set by the US Department of Agriculture. Yet 50% of Americans consume soft drinks on any given day according to a Harvard study. Learn the facts about consuming sugary beverages, and tips to avoid dental problems caused by drinking them.

Dentists see patients who frequently consume sugary beverages and foods present tooth problems such as tooth decay and dental cavities. The longer the teeth are exposed to soft drinks, the greater the damage to teeth. Sipping on sugary beverages, sports drinks and fruit juices can lead to not just decay and cavities, but over time it can erode tooth enamel, and ultimately, if untreated, lead to tooth loss.

If you consume soft drinks consider these factors:

Soft drinks contains sugar, on which the natural bacteria in your mouth loves to feed. When they co-mingle, they break down into acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Regular tooth brushing and rinsing combats most of these acids on the surfaces of teeth, but sugar that lingers in the hard to reach crevices between teeth can eventually cause tooth problems.

Acids found in soft drinks, such as citric acid, and phosphoric acid, attacks tooth enamel and leads to tooth enamel erosion over time. A 2006 study by The Academy of General Dentistry equates the harm from drinking soda to that of drinking battery acid. Diet sodas contain an even higher level of acids than regular soda. The least acidic soft drink: root beer.


Cant give up your soft drink habit? Try these dentist recommended tips to lessen the negative impact of soft drinks on your teeth:

Use a Drinking Straw

Drinking sodas and juices with a straw and swallowing quickly will limit sugary beverages contact with teeth, lessening the opportunity for it to cause tooth damage.

Go for a Rinse

Rinse your teeth with water or a mouthwash following your soft drink, to wash away the sugars, preventing them from eating away at your tooth enamel.

Brush it Off

As soon as you are able, brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash for an extra layer of protection from tooth decay. Be sure to choose a fluoridated mouthwash and toothpaste to help strengthen and remineralize teeth.

At Mealtime Only

Drinking soft drinks during mealtime only ensures that the teeth will have less exposure to sugars in the drinks during the process of chewing your meal.

The most important thing you can do to ensure the health of your teeth is maintain a regular schedule of dental appointments. The sooner your dentist can assess tooth damage, the better he or she will be able to treat any problems such as decay, cavities and tooth enamel erosion. If your teeth have already been severely damaged by soft drinks, speak to your dentist about restoration and cosmetic dentistry options to restore a healthy smile.

Contact Sterling Dental Care at 703-433-9516 or visit to book an appointment today!

About the Author: Dr. Nicholas Papageorgiou is a 1999 graduate of the Medical College of Virginia has been in dental practice for more than 14 years. He continually educates himself and his staff on the newest dental techniques and approaches. Dr. Papageorgiou is a dedicated member of the American Dental Association, the Northern Virginia Dental Association, the Virginia Dental Association and the Delta Sigma Delta dental fraternity. Visit

to learn more about state-of-the-art-dentistry.


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