You might be reducing your caloric intake by switching out regular soda for diet although some studies contest that theory, but you are definitely not lowering your risk for tooth decay. The reasoning is that while diet soda is sweetened with a sugar substitute it still contains the acids that are known to eat away at tooth enamel. When the enamel begins to deteriorate the dentin becomes more vulnerable to infection.

While we’re on the subject you should be aware that the citric acid in your favorite juice drink makes it just as much of a risk to your dental health as the diet soda is.

This is not meant to say that regular soda is better for your teeth. A regular sized can of cola for instance, can contain up to ten teaspoonfuls of sugar. When you drink the cola the sugar in it mixes with the “bad” bacteria that lives in your mouth and a cavity is born! The “sports” drinks that we may think will increase our level of energy are also chock full of sugar AND acids, making them a double threat to your dental health.

Research has shown us what beverages to avoid so what are some healthier choices? The answer may not be what you’d like to hear but tea, coffee, milk and water are the most popular recommendations that dental professionals have to offer. It’s interesting to note that researchers have come to the conclusion that root beer is the least of all evils as far as what kind of soda to drink if you just have to have it. Moderation is always advised however.

It’s unrealistic to expect middle school and high school age children to totally abstain from drinking soda but your family dentist can make suggestions that may lower their risk. Parents can help by being diligent about reading labels for sugar and acid content.

Spokane Valley Dentistry offers sealants, fluoride treatments among other preventive therapies. Call the office today @ 509-926-6261.