How to Minimize Damage From Drinking Soda and Energy Drinks

Learn the must-know steps to protect your teeth from acidic soda and energy drinks, without having to give these drinks up.

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How to Minimize Damage From Drinking Soda and Energy Drinks

Most people are surprised to know that acidic beverages like soda and sports drinks (just to name a few) can damage tooth enamel and accelerate tooth decay, especially when sports drinks are marketed to us as “health” drinks.

But every time you drink soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks, you are bathing your teeth in acid.

Even if you do decide to kick your soda habit, did you know that many acidic foods are good for you?

Citrus fruits like oranges are especially good for the teeth and mouth with their high levels of Vitamin C. But the acid in even good-for-you foods and drinks still does damage to the teeth.

The good news is, you don’t have to cut out acidic foods to protect your teeth.

It all starts with knowing what’s acidic and what’s not, and how to minimize the acid attack to the teeth.

How to Minimize Erosion to Your Teeth After Drinking Soda

Space it out.

Space the consumption of acidic foods out over the course of a day or a week, so that your teeth aren’t getting an “acid blast” all at once.

Know the pH of your everyday beverage.

It’s better to drink a beverage that is neutral to slightly alkaline.

The best pH for the mouth is neutral or slightly higher than neutral pH. This pH in the mouth makes it less hospitable for the bacteria that cause cavities.

Cut back on soda consumption.

Of course, cutting back on acidic drinks is the best thing you can do, not only for your teeth, but for your body as well.

Coke, Vitamin Water, Red Bull, Sprite, Pepsi, and Gatorade are all full of empty calories and sugar — which, ironically, is counterproductive if you’re drinking “energy” or “sports” drinks for the benefits that they tout.

A fantastic sports drink alternative is coconut water, which is high in electrolytes (perfect for replenishing nutrients to the muscles) and great for your teeth as well.

As for soda, if you’re craving sugar, why not indulge in a homemade full-calorie, delicious brownie?

I have a sweet tooth myself and find it better to indulge these cravings with real food rather than processed, acidic toxins.

Keep water nearby.

Sip water while eating or drinking acidic foods and beverages.

Rinsing your mouth with water can be a very effective way of neutralizing acid.

Limit the frequency.

Swallow acidic beverages quickly to limit the time your teeth are exposed to the acid.

Frequency, not quantity, is key in tooth erosion, meaning that it’s not how much you drink but how often you expose your teeth to the acid.

If you have a craving for soda, you might want to drink it all at once rather than sip it over the course of the whole day.

Wait an hour to brush after drinking soda.

This part is very important: your enamel remains soft for a while after you eat or drink something acidic.

Waiting at least an hour before you brush is safest for your teeth.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Read Next: Foods to Eat—And Foods to Avoid—to Heal Cavities Naturally

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  1. Easton Memmott says:

    After a negative experience at the dentist (I had to get four cavities filled), I want to try and take better care of my teeth. It was an interesting point when it was said that “every time you drink soda, sports drinks, or energy drinks, you are bathing your teeth in acid.” This really hit home for me. I drink a lot of soda; I had no idea how much damage it could cause to my teeth. If it is acid, the last thing I want to do is bathe my teeth in it.

  2. Anant Singh says:

    No doubt that your article has hit the bull’s eye on every point. Coconut water is indeed a lot better than soft drinks and energy drinks, but only in their authentic form. However, the market for soft drinks is already quite huge in America, and is only expected to grow further in the coming 5-6 years, which would make it extremely hard to prevent tooth decay in kids and teenagers.

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