Why Is Soda Bad For Your Teeth-Latest Update

Cola soda is bad for teeth

Do you have any idea what soda is doing to your teeth? Simply stated, soda is destroying your teeth. Yes, that’s right, I said destroying them!

Soda consumption has become a daily habit for more and more people. It is no longer considered a treat for a special occasion and is now part of a daily routine for many.

In fact, drinking soda daily has become the norm especially for children and young adults. This article will cover the latest update of why soda is bad for your teeth and what you need to know to protect them.

What Does Soda Do to Your Teeth?why-is-soda-bad-for-your-teeth-latest-update

The sugar in soda mixes with the bacteria in your mouth to create acid. These acids attack your teeth. People who have poor oral hygiene are at a much higher risk of damage since they have more bacteria to begin with.

The two main ways soda damages your teeth is by erosion and cavities. Learn more about acid erosion of teeth here from Wikipedia. Even sugar free soda contains acid of its own and should be avoided as much as regular soda. While diet soda may not have sugar, it has a very high content of citric and phosphoric acid. If these drinks are consumed often, they will have a very damaging effect your enamel.

Soda is bad for your teeth because the acid weakens the enamel and makes it more prone to decay. Every sip of soda lowers the pH in the mouth which prolongs the acid attack and erodes the enamel. Each acid attack can lasts around 20 minutes.

With ongoing acid attacks, the enamel becomes weaker and weaker. With the weakened enamel, the bacteria in the mouth are more likely to cause cavities. Over time, the enamel is permanently damaged from the erosion. Once this enamel is gone, it’s gone. There is no way of getting it back!

There are some things you can do to protect your teeth and I would like to help you so please read on…

How Can You Reduce the Acid Challenge?Women drinking soda

By being aware of how soda is bad for your teeth, you can take steps to lessen the damage it can cause. Never sip on soda all day. Each time you take a sip of soda, the 20-minute acid attack starts all over again.

The best way to enjoy your soda is to drink it all at once versus sipping on it. Swishing with water after drinking soda will reduce the sugar content and dilute the acids. You should try to switch out soda for water as it has no sugar or acid and will not harm your teeth. Using a straw when drinking soda will keep the sugar and acid away from your teeth.

Avoid drinking soda before bed. If soda is consumed before bed it will coat the teeth and tissues and allow the acid to cause damage all night long. The absolute worst thing you can do is to consume soda throughout the night. Believe it or not, some people actually have soda on their nightstands. At night, the bacteria in the mouth multiply rapidly due to the the dark, moist, warm environment of the mouth.

The sugar in soda mixes with the bacteria in the mouth to create acids of their own in addition to the acid already in the soda. It is best to wait at least 3o minutes after consuming soda to brush.

If you brush before this time, you are more likely to cause further damage to your enamel. This is caused by brushing away the softened enamel created by the acid consumption. Learn more here about use of oral irrigation devices to gently remove bacterial plaque and dilute an acid attack.

More Damaging Than Ever! Updated Information

Today’s teenagers drink more soda than ever before. They consume three times as much soda than 20 years ago. If you are like most of the American population, about half of you will have consumed a soda, sports or energy drink today.

The size of a soda bottle is getting bigger and bigger. Today’s bottle is 20 ounces compared to the standard 12 ounce bottle of years ago.

These larger sizes mean more and more sugar in each serving. It is not uncommon for a 20 ounce bottle to contain anywhere from 10 to 15 teaspoons of sugar! This table shows the comparison of water and battery acid to the sugar and pH acid content of a 12 ounce can of soda.

      Drink/acid/sugar content:

  • Water/ 7.00 neutral/ 0.0 tsp
  • Sprite/ 3.42/ 9.0 tsp
  • Diet Coke/ 3.41/ 0.0 tsp
  • Mt. Dew/ 3.22/ 11.0 tsp
  • Diet Pepsi/ 3.05/ 0.0 tsp
  • Dr. Pepper/ 2.92/ 9.5 tsp
  • Squirt/ 2.85/ 9.5 tsp
  • Coke/ 2.53/ 9.3 tsp
  • Pepsi/ 2.49/ 9.8 tsp
  • Battery Acid-/1.00/ 0.0 tspSoda for sale in store

What Does This Damage Look Like?

As the enamel thins and erodes, the underlying tooth surface starts to show through. This underlying tooth structure is called dentin and it is a yellow brownish color. Teeth appear darker when the translucent enamel allows the darker dentin to shine through more easily.

The chewing surface can become worn, pitted and uneven. The teeth appear to pull away from the margins of existing fillings as the acid erosion continues. Cavities cause unsightly damage as the holes created by the decay rot away tooth structure.

Please Rethink Your Drink!

Why not choose a beverage low in sugar and acid? Now that you know why soda is bad for your teeth, you can avoid all the negative effects of soda by switching out your drink. Choose milk or water if at all possible. Even chocolate milk has much less sugar and no acid.

Be careful when consuming sports drinks. Many sports drinks such as Gatorade can have an acid pH content as high as 2.95 per 12 ounce serving. This is much higher than most sodas. Gatorade also has an average of 3-4 tsp of sugar per serving.

Energy drinks such as Monster have an average pH of 2.7. This is even closer to the dreaded pH of 1 in battery acid. Remember that the enamel erosion caused by these drinks is irreversible so choose wisely and rethink your drink!

The American Dental Association recommends limiting between meal sipping and snacking on sugary beverages and foods. The ADA further recommends practicing good dental health hygiene. 

This includes  brushing twice a day for two minutes with an ADA accepted fluoridated toothpaste, flossing or cleaning between teeth daily, eating a healthy diet and visiting your dentist regularly.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment below and I will gladly answer any questions or comments you may have.

Medical Disclaimer:
The information provided on this website is not intended to take the place of medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Care and investigation should always be sought from an appropriate health care provider.  I am not a doctor and do not claim to be one.  I have created this site as a way to share information and experiences. 


  1. Akshay

    That’s a very informative article. I had no idea of the affect of soda on our mouth. During summer, we mostly drink lemon soda on a regular basis.  Is it harmful too? Or, does the lemon cancel the affect of soda in our mouth? 

    After reading this post, I’ll be very careful about my soda intake. Also, my city is located near sea side, and mostly we get salty water, while drinking it tastes salty, is it harmful too? If yes, I will cling to packaged water instead. 

    Thanks a lot for this heads up. Many of your readers will find this information very useful. 

    1. Michelle


      Lemon soda can cause two-fold damage.  Not only does it have sugar but it is more acidic due to the citric acid added to it to give it flavor.  Water is definitely your best bet.  To answer your question as far as salty sea side water, salt is not damaging to your oral health.  In fact, rinsing with salt water is a tried and true remedy to treat inflammation!

  2. Lee

    You are right. I was once asked “would you take a shower using soda?” then you should consider what it would do on the outside of your body is similar to what you could expect to happen on the inside of your body. Most people focus on the sugar and caffeine, so people opt for sugar or caffeine free soda but the acid is just as bad for the very reasons you sight. Limit or eliminate sodas is the only way to be healthy. 

    1. Michelle


      Thank you for commenting on:  Why Is Soda Bad For Your Teeth-Latest Update.  You are absolutely correct about the need to limit or eliminate soda in your diet.  The detrimental effects it has on your teeth is not a well known fact.  I am glad you pointed out how unhealthy soda is for your overall general health.

      Thanks for your thoughts,


  3. Dave

    Thank you so much for this informative article on why Is soda bad for your teeth. I will be printing it out in full for my son.  I have seen at first hand the damage to his teeth through erosion and in the cavities.

    You present the argument in a logical manner through important points such as the acid weakening the enamel and in turn making it more prone to decay. I didn’t realize that the soda lowers the pH in the mouth which is actually prolonging the acid attack.

    Also through the weakened enamel, more cavities result through the bacteria in the mouth. Thank you also for the tips to help.


    1. Michelle


      I am glad you will be sharing this article with your son.  Young people are at a high risk from the damage of soda, sports and energy drinks.  The market targets this audience with its promise of energy and high performance.  Sugar is sugar and sugar mixed with acid is even worse!  Please advise anyone who regularly consumes these damaging drinks of a better choice.  Thank you for reading and good luck with your son.


  4. Henry

    Hi! I really appreciate the alarming facts you have outlined here. I have tried to reduce my consumption of soda and this post has encouraged me to continue doing so. I knew all the harm sugar does to our body but hadn’t considered it’s negative effects upon our teeth.

    Reading your article, I have come up with a question: During the day, the acid attack lasts around 20 minutes. But at night drinking soda before bed will enable the acid to attack all night. Why is this so?

    1. Michelle


      I am glad you found this information useful.  An acid attack will last for up to 20 minutes during the day or night.  After a sip of a sugary drink, or other sugar exposure, the acid demineralizes the tooth during this time and weakens the tooth.  After 20 minutes, the minerals in our saliva act to remineralize the tooth and strengthen it.  This balancing act is challenged when there is repeated exposure to sugar.  It is recommended to rinse the mouth with water, a fluoride mouth rinse or chewing sugarless gum after an acid attack.  However, brushing right after an acid attack from soda is not recommended as the enamel is in a weakened state.  In this state, erosion of the enamel can occur from the mechanical abrasion of brushing.  The reason more damage may occur at night is because of the dark, moist environment where bacteria that have not been adequately removed can rapidly multiply.  The bacteria can mix with the sugar in debris from inadequate cleaning (think carbohydrates) and create more acid.

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