Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?

December 27, 2019  |  by James Sampson  |  Blog, News

First, let’s answer this question: What causes cavities? The answer in the simplest terms is acids. Growing up in Hoover Alabama and more importantly in the Southern part of the United States, people tend to drink more diet sodas than in other parts of the country.

Bacteria adhere to your teeth (plaque). The bacteria then use the sugar you consume and create acids. Are Diet Drinks Bad for Your Teeth?  The acids eat away at your teeth and form holes. The cycle continues as the bacteria bore their way deeper and deeper into the teeth.

What is the main thing the bacteria need to thrive? Sugar.

Are diet drinks also bad for teeth?

Most diet drinks do not contain sugar. They use some form or another of artificial sweetener. The good news is that cavity-causing bacteria cannot metabolize these sweeteners to form acids. The bad news is, just like their “regular” counterparts, diet drinks are extremely acidic in themselves. Again, what causes cavities? Acids! And so, even though the typical path of cavity formation (bacteria eats sugar, releases acids, forms holes in teeth) is not followed as much, these drinks can just bypass the bacteria step and eat away at your teeth on their own. Pathologically speaking, it is a different type of cavity with different attributes than that of a bacteria caused one. However, in the big picture, it doesn’t really matter. In both situations, tooth structure is eaten away and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Drink more water. There is nothing better!
Limit soft drinks, including diet soft drinks, to meal times.
At the very least, swish around with some water after consuming to remove some of it off your teeth.

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