Diet Soda and Dental Health: What You Need to Know
by Dr Richard Barry
In today’s calorie-obsessed culture, it can be hard to hear the truth among all the other health-conscious noise. Columbus residents are frequently misinformed and misled about the health benefits of trends such as cleanses, sugar alternatives, diets, organic vs. nonorganic, and a myriad of other common topics. Today Dr. Barry & Dr. Love would like to clear up any misconceptions about dental health and diet soda. If you have any questions please call us at Lifetime Dental Care.
Are Diet Sodas Healthy?
The short answer: no. Originally conceived as low-calorie alternatives to one of America’s first commercial legacies, diet sodas have become extremely popular amidst our country’s never-ending battle to lose weight. There’s only one small problem – diet sodas are only marginally better than regular soda. Compared to water, diet soda has zero nutritional value and contains many ingredients that are harmful outside of moderation.
Diet Soda & Dental Health
Diet soft drinks are not good for your teeth. Although they are not as detrimental to your smile as regular sodas, which usually have around 45g of sugar per serving, sugar is not the only problem when it comes to soda consumption. For example:
Phosphoric acid and citric acid (present in nearly every type of diet soda) eat away at your enamel, causing acid erosion. If you like to sip soda throughout the day, your teeth may be under soda-fueled attack for several hours per day.
Carbonated colas have been shown to cause bone loss. As part of the body’s attempt to neutralize the disruption to pH levels in the stomach, calcium and other essential minerals are leached from the bloodstream to maintain pH equilibrium.
Artificial sweeteners in diet sodas, such as aspartame and sucralose, may help stall tooth decay, but health advocates warn that they may be linked to headaches and weight gain.
Diet sodas often contain caffeine, which has diuretic and laxative properties. Combined with the fact that drinking diet soda often means you are drinking less water can lead to a chronic dehydration problem. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, bad breath, and increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Do You Have to Give up Diet Soda?
We know that lots of Columbus folks love their soda and Dr. Barry & Dr. Love won’t tell anyone what they can and can’t drink, but the Lifetime Dental Care team also wants you to make informed decisions about your health. We want everyone in Columbus to have beautiful smiles and strong teeth, but it’s up to you to maintain healthy habits that keep your teeth safe between visits to our office. If you have any questions or would like to visit us for an evaluation, call for an appointment today.