The popularity of diet drinks, sports drinks, and energy drinks has increased drastically in recent years. However, most consumers are unaware that these drinks can be highly acidic. In fact, the pH content in many of these beverages is closer to battery acid than water (neutral pH). While diet sodas are certainly healthier than sugar-laden regular sodas, the acidity is a problem. In regards to sports and diet drinks, not only are they very acidic, but also many of these drinks may contain significant amounts of sugar, making them a dual-threat to healthy teeth. In considering the acid content of drinks, the biggest concern is how the acid levels will erode, or break down, healthy tooth structure. The acid content can also accelerate decay in teeth.
Of course, the best way to avoid problems with acidic drinks is to avoid them all together and drink more water. However, if you like to enjoy the occasional soda, juice, or energy drink, here are some ways to help prevent problems. One great strategy is to consume these drinks over a short period or time. For example, drinking a soda in 10 minutes is better than sipping on that same soda for an hour. With a shorter drinking time, the teeth spend less overall time exposed to the acidic environment. Another good practice is using a straw, as a straw helps keep the liquid contained in the back of the mouth. Another important practice is to use fluoridated toothpaste everyday. Fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and repair small areas of erosion or decay. If you drink several of these acidic drinks in a day, then use of a fluoride rinse (such as ACT) after brushing is a great tool.
All things considered, some moderation with drinking these beverages, along with good oral care at home and regular dental visits will help keep your teeth healthy for years to come. At Hutto Premier Dentistry, Dr. McEntire, Dr. Marek, our team of dental hygienists are ready to work with you to achieve and maintain a healthy smile! Click her to schedule a dental appointment today!
I earned my Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the prestigious University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Dental School, graduating with dual Honors.