How to Drink Soda

by | Sep 23, 2015 | General

As much as we advise you to quit drinking soda or decrease the amount, we know it isn’t going to happen overnight. In the mean time there are ways you can decrease the effect soda puts on your teeth.

Many have heard of pH level and acidity but what does it really mean? The pH scale is recognized as a scale from 0-14, 7 being neutral (water is neutral). The lower the pH level the higher the acidity level. When you consume food and drink that contain sugar, the bacteria in your mouth uses the sugar for fuel and produce an acid that causes your pH level in your mouth to lower to a level that can dissolve enamel. Enamel begins to dissolve when the pH level is below 5.5 (the level of coffee and milk). Soda is listed at level 3 on the pH scale, lemon juice and vinegar at 2, hydrochloric acid at 1, and battery acid at 0. As you can see soda is well below the healthy level, making it almost dangerously acidic.

Once you have consumed a food or drink containing acidic properties it takes 20 minutes for your body to return your mouth’s pH levels to normal levels. The longer the mouth stays below 5.5 the more enamel will be dissolved and the more vulnerable the teeth will be to cavities and other oral complications.

It’s common to slowly enjoy your drink throughout the day but each time you take a sip from your soda you are delaying the balance of your mouth another 20 minutes. If we create a scenario where you sip your soda every 10 minutes and it takes 10-15 sips to finish, your mouth’s pH level will not be balance for 3-5 hours. During this time period your teeth are vulnerable to cavities.

The next time you’re thirsty reach for water. If a soda is too tempting be smart and drink it all in one sitting using a straw to decrease the amount of sugary liquid touching your teeth.

Dr. Merle Saldivar

Dr. Saldivar received a B.S. at Penn State University and a D.D.S. at University of Maryland. With over 10 years of experience, Dr. Saldivar is certified in the United States Dental Institue (Orthodontic Program) as well as Invisalign certified. She is fluent in Spanish, Tagalog-Filipino, and volunteers her services for Give Kids a Smile, a program that is part of the American Dental Association.
Dr. Merle Saldivar

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