Diet Soda and Your Teeth: A Healthy Mix?

By August 15, 2011 January 2nd, 2020 No Comments

Every time I see a commercial for diet soda, I cringe. Actually, as a NYC Cosmetic Dentist any kind of soda commercial makes me cringe. That’s because we may as well call it what it is — sugar water. But diet soda in particular gets to me, because it’s subliminally marketed as healthier than soda, because it has no calories.

Trust me, it’s not healthier than regular soda (or pop, for those of you in the Midwest). And despite not having any sugar or corn syrup, it’s still pretty bad for your teeth as well.

The problems with soda are twofold: first, the sugar content is bad for your teeth (but that fact is pretty obvious). The second bad part is the acidity, which is quite high in soda pop. Acidic content (aka pH) is measured on a scale of 0 (most acidic) to 14 (least). Battery acid is a 1 on the scale — tap water is a 7 (this may seem backwards, but yes, the higher numbers are less acidic. Blame science.)

Cola measures in the 2.3-2.5 range (1), which means it’s much closer to battery acid than it is water. How’s that make you feel? Not so good, right?

Now you might be asking “That’s all well and good, but what does this do to your teeth?”

Well, the acid wears down your tooth enamel. And your tooth enamel is the main defense against … everything, really. Plaque, tarter, decay — it all starts with the enamel. Less is not more here. Anything that weakens tooth enamel is going to be an issue in the long term.

Related to the above, citric acid (which is the acid in most non-cola soft drinks) is even more damaging to your tooth enamel. So this means sports drinks, “clear” diet sodas, diet fruit drinks etc. — they all have the same negative effects on your teeth….read more


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