Can Soda Cause Cavities?

The fizzy sound we hear when we open a can of soda is music to those who cannot live without it. Many of us have sodas as part of our daily diet, but not many know the link between soft drinks and tooth decay.

Is soda bad for your teeth? Yes. Sure, it boosts your energy, but it has little nutritional value. Cavities are one of the many harmful effects of carbonated drinks. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a 12-ounce soda contains 35 grams or 2.3 tablespoons of sugar. The common ingredients found in sodas are carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, and caffeine, which all harm teeth one way or the other.

Sodas are also linked to weight gain and chronic diseases. One sip of their high sugar content puts our oral health at risk.

Where Did Soda Come From?

Before we answer the question “How can soda cause cavities?”, it’s best to understand how soda came to be.

Carbonated beverages have been with us for hundreds of years. Parisian street sellers sold uncarbonated lemonade in the 17th century, and cider was also already common.

The first artificial carbonated water safe to drink was invented in 1760. Soft drink inventors used chalk and acid to carbonate water to replicate the natural effervescent water of springs, which many believe has curative properties.

No one really knows who or when flavors and sweeteners were added to seltzer, but combinations of carbonated water and wine became popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. By the 1830s, syrups flavored with fruits and berries became available. However, the most significant development was when J.S. Pemberton created Coca-Cola’s iconic flavor by combining cocaine from South America and kola nuts from Africa. From then on, sodas became a popular refreshment for many people worldwide.

Soda’s adverse effects on health were recognized as early as 1942 but did not reach critical proportions until the end of the 20th century. People’s concerns grew when the link between soft drinks and tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions was established.

What Does Soda Do to Your Teeth? 

Can soda cause cavities? Yes. Drinking large quantities of soda can lead to rapid tooth decay, and it causes this in many ways.

Sugar is the main ingredient of most sodas, but it’s not the main suspect. The bacteria in your mouth break it down, producing acids that weaken enamel — your tooth’s protective layer. By weakening this protective layer, bacteria are free to attack the teeth and cause cavities.

Enamel does not grow back, but it can be repaired. Our mouths and saliva have the minerals needed to restore enamel; however, a constant barrage of sugary drinks and foods can overwhelm your mouth’s defense systems.

How To  Prevent Damage Caused by Soda

Now that you know the answer to “Can soda cause cavities?” you probably want to reduce your soda intake. Cutting back on soda is challenging, and you might get discouraged by the initial difficulties you will face. But when it does, remember that you’re doing it to make your teeth last for a lifetime and to live a healthier lifestyle. Here are some of the ways you can prevent soda from damaging teeth:

 1. Cut back on soda consumption. 

Reduce soda and other caffeine-rich drinks if you’re used to having them with your daily activities. Consistent consumption of soda or other acidic beverages like sports drinks can disrupt your mouth’s natural pH balance and make it acidic, which does not bode well for your teeth’s enamel.

 2. Reduce the amount of soda in contact with your teeth. 

If reducing soda consumption is hard, use a straw for drinking soda. It transports soda directly to your throat and reduces the amount of soda that comes in contact with your teeth.

This will prevent bacteria from consuming the sugar, preventing the production of harmful acids that weaken enamel.

 3. Rinse your mouth with water. 

Gargle or drink water after drinking caffeine-rich drinks or soda. This helps flush out sugars and keep bacteria from consuming them, saving your teeth from cavities.

 4. Don’t brush your teeth immediately. 

Contrary to popular belief, brushing after drinking soda can cause more damage than good. Enamel is still sensitive and weak after drinking soda due to the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Brushing them in this condition will cause them further damage.

 5. Take a sip of soda with your meal. 

Try taking sips of soda with a meal; heavy meals promote saliva release for easier digestion. Your saliva will also neutralize the acids produced by the sugar-eating bacteria and lessen enamel damage.

How To Reduce Soda Consumption 

Ignoring a soda craving is difficult, especially if you believe it will satisfy your thirst. This is a mistake; acidic and caffeine-rich drinks like soda dehydrate your body. They also cause a host of adverse effects on your body.

Here are some tips to try if you’re ready to quit drinking soda.

 1. Drink plenty of water. 

Water is essential for our bodies to function well. Drinking it is better than reaching for a can of soda when you feel thirsty; it replenishes your strength and prevents your teeth from cavities. It’s also at the top of the list of tooth-friendly drinks.

 2. Avoid soda. 

Avoid soda and other acidic beverages if possible. Drink water immediately if you feel the urge to drink soda. You can also distract yourself from drinking soda by walking and doing some exercises.

 3. Avoid hunger. 

Hunger can make you crave soda. Avoid soda cravings by bringing a healthy snack and a bottle of water.

 4.  Find better, tooth-friendly drinks.

Many manufacturers now offer healthier alternatives to soda due to increased health consciousness. Infused sparkling water and other sparkling beverages can give you the same experience but with less sugar. Still, water is one of the best tooth-friendly drinks if you want to reduce soda consumption.

Treat oral cavities due to sodas with Sunrise Dentistry.

Our dentists in Durango, CO, are here if you ever need help quitting soda or restoring your beautiful teeth. We also offer restoration dentistry services like crowns and veneers to help cover up oral cavities, and our treatments are tailored for each patient’s needs. Call us today and stay on top of your oral health.