When soft drinks are a part of your daily routine, they can literally destroy your teeth. Regular consumption can injure teeth in two ways: Tooth decay and dental erosion.
Tooth decay caused by soft drinks
Tooth decay is caused by sugar. The average 12 ounce can of soda contains 9 to 12 tablespoons of sugar. This is important to know because the bacteria that naturally live in your mouth survive by eating the sugar they find on your teeth. As the bacteria digest the sugar, they produce acids. Your teeth are bathed in theses acids for 20 minutes or more every time you drink a soda.
The acid slowly dissolves the protective enamel layer of your teeth until, eventually, there’s a hole in the surface. This hole can grow into a serious cavity.
Tooth erosion caused by soft drinks
Even diet soft drinks, which are sugar-free, can damage your teeth through dental erosion. Most soft drinks are acidic, containing both phosphoric acid and citric acid. These acids also dissolve the enamel layer, and this can cause the tooth surface to wear away and the biting edges to crumble.
When the enamel is worn away, it can no longer protect the sensitive inner dentin layer of the tooth. This opens the dentin layer to both decay and pain.
To avoid the damage that soft drinks can cause, we recommend that you instead drink water, milk, or diluted fruit juice. These drinks are better for you, and they’ll help you keep your healthy smile.