Many of the drinks we enjoy the most aren’t actually good for us at all! As dental professionals, we are particularly concerned about the ones that are bad for our teeth – especially soda, sports drinks and fruit juice.
Two of the most harmful things for our teeth are sugar and acid, and carbonated beverages are full of both! Sugar is harmful because the bad bacteria in our mouths eat it and excrete acid on our teeth. When we drink something acidic, we are actually just simply applying the acid to the teeth (no bacteria needed!) Tooth enamel begins to dissolve at a pH of 5.5, and soft drinks range in acidity from a pH of 2.32 to 5.24. Even diet soda isn’t much less acidic than its sugar-loaded counterpart.
We all enjoy a refreshing drink after a hard workout, but the sports drinks we use to replenish our electrolytes have a down side. Like soda, they’re often full of sugar and highly acidic. Fruit juices as well are not much better than soda. Whole fruit is a very healthy snack, but when we drink the juice on its own, we’re simply bathing our teeth in sugar!
Of course we can’t insist that our patients give up these drinks forever! But we definitely recommend cutting back and drinking more water instead! We love our patients’ smiles!