If you love the taste of diet soda, you are not alone. Researchers have found that over a quarter of Americans drink diet soda regularly. Most people who drink diet soda think that it will allow them to keep their calories under control. If you are drinking diet soda, you may be doing damage to your teeth. Here are some reasons why diet soda is not great for your dental health.
You might already know that sugar is bad for your teeth, but do you know how bad sugar is for your teeth? Every time you eat sugar, you are feeding the bacteria that live in your mouth. All mouths contain bacteria, and you need those bacteria to help with food digestion. Billions of bacteria live in your mouth. The bacteria live on carbohydrates, which makes them grow and multiply. The more sugar you eat, the more bacteria are living in your mouth.
This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the bacteria in your mouth can cause tooth decay and gum disease, which are the major reasons for tooth loss. The bacteria in your mouth can also travel into your heart muscle and cause heart disease. Also, if you have diabetes, the extra bacteria could destabilize your blood sugar and make diabetes worse. These are all reasons you need to limit your sugar intake.
So, if you drink diet soda rather than regular soda, you have solved the problem, right? Not exactly.
Why Diet Soda Isn’t Any Better for You
It’s true that diet soda does not contain sugar that can damage your teeth and gums. That’s because instead of cane sugar, your diet soda has sugar substitutes. All sugar substitutes sweeten your diet pop, but they also break down into acids in your mouth. These acids act the same way that regular acids act on wood–the acids will bore holes into your teeth. While the holes are microscopically small, if you drink a lot of diet pop during the day, your teeth will grow weaker over time. In addition to eroding your enamel, the sugar substitute also acts the same way natural sugars do, which means diet pop can cause tooth decay and gum disease in the same way natural sugars can.
Many people ask which type of pop is better for your body–diet soda or regular soda? The truth is neither diet soda nor regular soda benefits your teeth and gums. They both can cause tooth weakness, tooth decay and gum disease.
What to Do if You Love Diet Soda
Many of us don’t want to stop drinking diet soda, because diet pop contains caffeine that helps people open their eyes in the morning and face the day with a smile. If you want to keep drinking diet soda, there are some things you can do to limit the damage to your teeth.
- Limit your intake of diet soda. If you can reduce your intake of diet pop, you reduce the amount of sugar substitutes and acids on your teeth. That way, you can enjoy your soda without feeling too guilty.
- Try and brush your teeth after eating sugary snacks, or drinking sugar or sugar substitutes. If you brush your teeth after you have a diet pop, you remove much of the acids that would be clinging to your teeth after you drink a soda.
- Consume vitamins and minerals that give your teeth and gums an extra boost of toughness. Fruits, vegetables, and milk have great essential nutrients your teeth need, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and especially Vitamin D. Vitamin D encourages tooth strength and growth. Not a huge fan of fruits and vegetables? You can always take a multivitamin.
- If you aren’t a fruit and veggies person, you may want to think about finding some fruits and vegetables you like that will help keep your teeth clean and your gums disease free. Many vegetables and fruits also act as natural toothbrushes, so you can use them if you aren’t near your toothbrush when you’re on the go.
- You should visit the dentist regularly. If you brush and floss twice daily, and you visit the dentist twice a month, you should be able to keep tooth decay and gum disease at bay.
Do you have a dentist you visit regularly? If you don’t have a dentist, why not set up an appointment with Comfort Care Family Dentistry? We can check your teeth and gums, and give you tips on how to take great care of your mouth. Contact us today.