Two words that are rarely found side by side are “healthy” and “soda”. You were probably told time and time again as a child (and have gone on to tell your children and maybe grandchildren) that sodas aren’t the best things to consume for your dental health. These beverages, and other high sugar drinks, are certainly tasty and refreshing, but can have a harmful effect for waistlines or teeth, especially if enjoyed daily.
But there’s good news! According to recent studies, root beer is the least harmful soda when it comes to your teeth. One of the most prevalent myths surrounding tooth decay is that sugar causes it. While sugar does play a role in the formation of cavities, it’s not the sugar itself that leads to decay.
Yes, regularly consuming soda can cause dental erosion, as well as enamel loss. However, the real reason is that most sodas contain acids, most notably citric and phosphoric acid. In fact, some of the most popular sodas have an acidity ranking higher than battery acid! Battery acid has a pH level of 1.0, while some soft drinks ranked as high as 2.52.
Not only should you feel concerned with drinking sodas, but carbonated drinks in general. Sparkling water is a huge hit in the market right now. Would you be surprised to learn that may of the most popular brands of sparkling water have a pH between 3 and 4?
Is Root Beer Healthy for Teeth?
Although root beer is widely grouped in with other sodas, it has a significant difference: it rarely has any traces of citric or phosphoric acid. This makes root beer healthier for teeth when compared to typical colas. Root beer acidity is also much lower than other sodas on the market. It generally has a pH between 4.03 to 4.75 which is far less acidic than other types of sodas. With a lower acidic content, less harm occurs to the enamel. However, just like dark colas, root beer can still cause tooth staining.
Sipping sodas throughout the day is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. If you can’t give up sodas or other sugary drinks entirely, try to limit them to mealtimes and finish them in one sitting. Following up with a glass of water will help neutralize some of the acids.
Some believe switching to diet or sugar-free sodas is the solution to saving their teeth. However, these alternatives come with their own dangers. They contain acids that erode teeth at the same rate as regular sodas. Sports drinks and juices contain sugar and acids that make them problematic as well. However, soft drinks are ten times more erosive than fruit juices.
Of course, the food and beverages you eat are only part of maintaining a healthy mouth and smile. As the saying goes, “everything in moderation”. Your oral health will probably be fine if you enjoy a soda every once in a while but routine/daily consumption can cause problems.
Along with a twice-daily brushing and routine flossing, to keep your teeth healthy, you need routine professional care. Your association and ASBA offer an excellent Dental Plan with access to any dentist you want with bigger savings by staying in-network. You also get comprehensive coverage with low deductibles, high maximums, and NO WAITING PERIOD for covered services. Sign up now at www.ASBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.