Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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How to Drink Soda Pop and Keep Your Teeth Happy

Some dentists might say that in an ideal world, nobody would drink soda pop. In my view, in an ideal world, everyone would drink soda pop — it just wouldn’t hurt your teeth!

Of course, we don’t live in that ideal world and it’s important to know that soda pop does pose a serious threat to your teeth (read this article for more information.)

With that said, if you are going to drink soda pop, here’s four tips you can use to minimize the damage that it does to your teeth.

4 Tips You Can Use to Drink Soda Pop and Keep Your Teeth Happy

Drink Pop and Keep Your Teeth Healthy1 – Drink soda pop through a straw.  By drinking the soda pop through a straw, you will minimize the soda pop’s contact with your teeth and quickly whisk it away down your throat.

2 – Drink soda pop during meals.  If you drink the soda pop while you eat a meal, you will be able to wash away the sugar from the soda more quickly.  For example, if you drink some pop and then eat some salad, you will get rid of a lot of the sugar in your mouth when you swallow the salad.  The goal is to not let the sugar hang out in your mouth for too long.

3 – Don’t sip the soda pop slowly, drink it all at once.  Every time you eat or drink sugar, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid waste that dissolves your teeth.  It takes a good 15 to 30 minutes for your saliva to neutralize the acid and start repairing your teeth.

If you sip on soda pop all day, you might never give your saliva a chance to repair your teeth and could eventually start a cavity.

For more information and to view a graph of this process, read What Happens In Your Mouth Every Time You Eat or Drink.

4 – Rinse out with water rather than brushing after you drink soda pop. After you drink soda, you can get rid of a lot of the sugar in your mouth simply by rinsing out with water.  Some oral health experts have warned against brushing after drinking acidic drinks because the abrasive action of brushing can damage the tooth enamel before the saliva has a chance to repair it.Drinking Cola Little Girl


Like all foods that aren’t the greatest for us, soda pop shouldn’t be consumed excessively.

The reason soda pop is so bad for your teeth is because it is acidic and sugary.  By quickly drinking your soda pop and minimizing the amount of time that the sugar spends with your teeth, you’ll be doing your teeth a big favor.

Do you have any questions, comments, or any other suggestions to add about soda pop and oral health?  Please leave a comment below!  Thanks for reading!



    • Hi Ricardo – Yep, following these tips should still lessen the bad effects of the Red Bull! I’ve seen people who come into the dental school who drink a lot of carbonated drinks. One teenage boy even claimed to drink 10 Monster Energy Drinks per day.

      One my dentist-professors came over and said “We know you’re not going to stop drinking them, but make sure you drink them through a straw when you do.” She inspired me to find a few more tips and write about them here.

      By the way, I enjoyed your blog. Good job. Thanks for the comment, Ricardo!

  1. Hi tom, great article and great tips. My daughter is doing a science project to find out which of the soft drinks she picked out damage teeth the most. Where can she find a pH chart to include it in her project? she still has to find the pH for an orange pop Sunkist. She siad she might call the company to costumer service.
    Another thing she hasn´t been able to pin point is the ingridient in dark drinks like Coke and Dr. Pepper that change the color of the teeth, is it the caffeine or does it have something else? The orange Soda I guess its obvious because it has yellow 6 and red 40 as she mentioned. Sprite and Mountain Dew she guessed it was the orange juice in one of them and the corn syrup? do you have any articles on how they affect theeth coloring? Thank you, I’m trying to give her a head start

    • Hi Monica – That sounds like a science project I would have done 🙂 From what I found online, the average pH I was finding for orange soda was right around 3.

      A few years ago, someone did a very similar science project and reported it online here. He found that orange soda had a pH of 2.90. He used a digital meter, so I would probably go with his numbers as it looks like he knew what he was doing. Here’s a PDF summary of all the measurements he took if you’re interested.

      From what I’ve heard, things like wine, coffee, and tea stain teeth more than soft drinks. Here’s a study I found which shows that coffee and tea stained tooth-colored fillings about six times more than cola drinks. As far as the staining, my guess is that it’s not the caffeine (pure caffeine is actually more white-colored), but some of the coloring that is added like caramel color. Unfortunately, I haven’t written anything about soda and teeth staining yet, but I may in the future.

      I hope that helps, Monica! If you have any other questions, feel free to leave another comment.

  2. I have a sticky residue on the back of my teeth. I’ve been to three dentists and a dental specialist as well as my doctor and nobody knows what it is. I’ve had my teeth professionally cleaned three times in the last four months and it grows back within an hour. its eating away at my lower gums. Please do you know what this condition is and how to cure it, its driving me crazy.

  3. I appreciate the tip about drinking pop with my meals. I had heard about rinsing my mouth with water, but am not normally thirsty or around water when I finish my soda. Still, I want to keep my dentist happy with my teeth and be a good example to my kids and I will try to only have my soda with meals. However, would chewing sugar-free gum after drinking soda also help protect my teeth?


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