Although they’re marketed to be safe and healthy, sugar-free drinks can do some serious damage to your teeth. This includes diet sodas and 100-percent fruit juices. In addition to causing tooth decay, these drinks can be the cause of cavities due to tooth erosion that slowly affects your teeth and exposes them to acid. Tartaric acid, phosphoric acid, and citric acid are some of the common ingredients in such drinks and juices.
Don’t let the marketing tricks fool you into thinking they’re completely safe. Here, we take a look at some of the consequences that can arise from consuming excessive sugar-free drinks.
Although they contain little to no amounts of sugar, such drinks bring about a similar amount of teeth erosion when compared with regular soft drinks. A study conducted at the University of Michigan involved comparing the effects of erosion from regular soft drinks and sugar-free drinks. The conclusion showed that the difference was minimal. After being exposed to regular coke for 14 days, a 2.8 mg/cm² of enamel had been dissolved, whereas the sugar-free coke had dissolved around 3 mg/cm² of enamel.
This conclusion is further supported by a study conducted at the Eastman Institute of Oral Health which showed that consuming sugar-free orange juice had brought an 84 percent decrease in the hardness of the tooth’s enamel.
Another study shows that the acid found in lime and lemon juices has a corrosive effect similar to that of battery acid.
A solution to such a problem is to prevent the consumption of drinks with high acidic levels. Suitable alternatives are water, black tea, and coffee all of which have very low corrosive properties. Apart from being a tooth-friendly drink, Milk also aids the saliva to maintain a neutral pH level.
Sugar-free colas, sodas, energy drinks, wine, and orange juices all contribute toward the erosion of teeth. Protect your teeth by brushing twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Also, remember to floss and use a mouthwash as they help limit the harmful effects of bacteria.
If you must drink, do so with a meal. Drink while using a straw to minimize the contact with the teeth and remember to drink lots of water as it helps to wash away the bacteria-inducing remnants from the mouth.
Incorporate beneficial food items into your diet such as cheese, plain yogurt, and raw vegetables, and refrain from sugary drinks right before bedtime.
While cutting down on normal soft drinks might be beneficial in reducing your waistline, it won’t be beneficial toward the health of your teeth and gums.