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Dentistry/Soda and tooth decay

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Question
I know most dentists hate soda because it is both highly acidic by itself, but also the amount of sugars or otherwise artificial sweeters it has in it. Since I don't expect many people will stop drinking soda (even if having more than one a week will greatly increase their chance of pancreatic cancer) I was wondering if there was a certain amount of dilution with water or ice that would make soda an acceptable beverage in the eyes of most dentists?

Answer
In my opinion, sodas are overly demonized. There are many food products that cause tooth decay.  They cause decay because certain bacteria in your mouth change that food to acid.  The resulting acid condition lets minerals be taken out of the tooth to start the decay process.  The sugars in the soda are examples of decay causing food.

But here's the important thing to understand.  it is not the ingestion of the sugars, it is the FREQUENCY of ingestion that makes the actual tooth decay likely.  The acid is formed within minutes of ingestion.  But the acid is neutralized over the hours by saliva and this lets the tooth re-mineralize.  But if you follow up and create the acid condition over and over, this is how decay progresses.

Better than diluting your drinks, assuming you have the soft drink habit. I suggest following each soft drink incident with a quick tooth brushing using a fluoridated tooth paste dipped in a box of plain ol baking soda.  Assuming you have normal salivary function, this little trick should keep  you immune from the ravages of the soda monster.

if you drink it sometime where you can't brush, at least rinse thoroughly with water immediately after drinking.  Water alone consistently however, will not save you from the sugar monster.

Larry Burnett DDS

Dentistry

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Larry Burnett DDS

Expertise

Preventative Dentistry. Conservative Periodontal Therapy

Experience

National lecturer on conservative treatment of periodontal diseases and elimination of tooth decay. Former adjunct professor of oral microbiology at a Leading school of dental hygiene. Former investigator for State Board of Dentistry. Retired from private dental practice.

Organizations
ADA

Publications
RDH Magazine. Numerous articles

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Medical College of VA School of Dentistry. 20 years teaching hygienists at NOVA

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