The Worst (and Best) Sodas for Your Teeth
In May of 2019, a video of an egg immersed in Coca-Cola and Pepsi went viral after being posted on the popular video platform TikTok. The video supposedly showed the harmful effects of soda, completely dissolving the egg’s shell.
However, this video turns out to be fake. The creator of the video, blogerwojciech, confirmed in an email with Snopes that the video was not real and showed how he made the original using a clear fake egg toy.
While this video is fake, it’s common knowledge that drinking a lot of soda is bad for your health and your teeth. Soda may not dissolve your teeth entirely in 24 hours, but it can make your teeth vulnerable to decay and bacteria. But not all sodas are created equal. The good news is that there are still some sodas that are not as harmful to your teeth. They still can be harmful, though, dentists like Dr. Khurrum Ashraf recommend against too much of any soda.
How Soda Harms Your Teeth
To understand why certain sodas are more harmful than others, you need to know why they’re harmful. Sugary food and drinks are bad for your teeth, of course, but what matters more when it comes to soda is the acidity of the drink.
When you drink acidic sodas, the sugars interact with bacteria in your mouth. This combination forms an acid that attacks your teeth and lasts for about 20 minutes, eroding away your enamel with each sip you take. Dentists like Dr. John Oettinger in Hope Mills, NC try to teach their patients that enamel is difficult to restore, so keeping it safe is essential.
If you know where your soda falls on the pH scale, you’ll know how harmful it can be to your teeth. The pH scale ranges from a highly acidic 0.00 to an alkaline fourteen, with the middle being a neutral level of 7.00. The closer the number is to neutral, the better off your teeth will be. According to a study, most commercial nonalcoholic, nondairy drinks range from a pH of 2.10 to 7.10. Drinks with a pH level below 4.00 are the most damaging to teeth, eroding the enamel.
The Worst Sodas for Your Teeth
Coca-Cola and Pepsi
It should be no shock that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are bad for your teeth. Coca-Cola Classic’s pH level comes in at 2.37, while Pepsi’s pH level is around 2.39. Variations of Coca-Cola and Pepsi, such as Max and Cherry, also fall below 4.00.
Diet Coca-Cola and Diet Pepsi are slightly better than their regular versions, with pH levels of 3.10 and 3.02 respectively.
Popular for its stomach-soothing effects, especially on airplanes, this helpful beverage is damaging to your teeth. Canada Dry Ginger Ale is a 2.82 on the pH scale. If you limit this beverage to plane trips only, your teeth should be okay, though.
Fruit juice itself is highly acidic and can cause damage to your teeth, and fruit sodas are full of acid and soda. Crush Grape and Orange both have pH levels below 3.00, as well as flavors of Hawaiian Punch, Sunkist, and Fanta.
The Best Sodas for Your Teeth
The pH level of most root beers falls above the 4.00 mark. A&W root beer is a 4.27, Barq’s is a 4.11, and IBC is around 4.10. Not all root beers have such high pH ratings, but most of them are better than other kinds of sodas.
Club soda is well in the safer zone of beverages, as Canada Dry’s Club Soda has a pH level of approximately 5.24.
Most of the Boylan’s brand sodas have a higher pH level than most other brands, making them easier on your teeth. Boylan’s Root Beer comes in at 4.01, Diet Root Beer at 4.05, Diet Black Cherry at 4.00, and Cream Soda at 4.17.
Not all of their drinks are above a 4.00 though, as their regular Black Cherry is a 2.76 and Grape is a 2.91, and Sugar Cane Cola is a 2.54.
How to Minimize Damage
Drinking a soda once in a while won’t harm your teeth if you take care of them. To preserve your teeth, dentists like Dr. Jay Stockdale recommend ways to reduce the damage from soda when you do drink it, so you can enjoy your favorite soft drink while keeping your teeth safe.
Good soda-drinking habits include:
- Drinking soda quickly
- Drinking soda in moderation
- Using a straw
- Rinsing your mouth with water after
- Waiting one hour before you brush your teeth
- Avoiding soft drinks before bedtime
- Visiting the dentist for regular cleanings
If you follow good habits while drinking soda and drink sodas with a higher pH level, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about harm to your teeth. Even a lower pH soda can’t cause too much damage to your teeth if you’re keeping up with your oral hygiene.