Obey Your Thirst: Effects of Soda on Your Teeth and Your Body

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Have you ever seen those videos where someone puts a baby tooth in a glass of soda and watches it decay? Well, the effect of soda in an actual mouth is a bit different. You have your saliva to help wash away the sugar, you eat other things throughout the day, and brush at least twice a day to remove debris or plaque. Nevertheless, soda is not something we recommend you consume more often than a once-in-awhile treat. Here’s why:


Soda has an extremely high sugar content. The bacteria that cause tooth decay feed off of sugar and excrete acid, which is what causes tooth decay. The more sugar our teeth have to interact with, the more prone to decay they will be.  The beverage industry refutes the science, however if you search online for "Mountain Dew Mouth," you will see the ill effects of soda drinking that is ravishing Appalachia. In this community, the scale of economics has led to a catastrophic public health crisis of oral health.  Since the cost of soda is less than the cost of milk, many families give their children and infants soda to drink.


Think diet soda is a better alternative? Even though it contains zero sugar, it can still contain acids such as phosphoric acid or citric acid. Acid eats away at a tooth’s enamel and leaves it prone to decay.  Soda may also rob you of your calcium deposits on your teeth and body (see below Bone Density Disease).


Caramel color, Yellow 5, etc. Any type of artificial coloring can cause tooth-staining.
If you prefer your teeth sparkling white, it’s best to stay away from soda.

Effects of Soda on Your Body

Drinking carbonated drinks, like sodas, can adversely affect your health.  Sodas add additional "empty" calories that have no nutritional benefit to you while simply adding to your total caloric intake.  What does this mean? Soda drinking can lead to weight gain.

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity has tripled since the 1970s, according to the Centers for Disease Control.¹ This means 1 in 5 school age children or young adult are considered obese.


There is nothing quite like a soda on a hot summer day, right? Well, that's what the cola companies try to portray on their television ads. However, consuming high quantities of sodas can actually make you feel worse on a hot day.  Sodas often contain caffeine.  Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which removes water from your system.  The more you drink sodas or caffeinated drinks, the more water leaves your system.


Since sodas are packed with sugars, your body gets a sugar rush.  Initially, your body will self regulate to take care of the excess sugars.  However, over time, the body loses its innate ability to regulate the flood of sugars and may lead to diabetes.² This most often leads to Type 2 Diabetes, where the body does not use insulin well to control the blood sugar levels.

Bone Density Disease

Drinking sodas may lead to decreasing your body's calcium levels.³ A Cleveland Clinic report stated that osteoporosis, especially in women, maybe due in part to drinking sodas.


Instead of soda, we recommend spicing up your daily beverages with other alternatives. How about plain water infused with fresh fruit? If you MUST (on a rare occasions) drink soda, make sure to use a straw and always rinse with water after 3o minutes. And, as always, keep up with regular brushing and flossing to protect those precious teeth!

For more information about Nutrition and Oral Health, here are some helpful recommendations.


1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

2. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/diabetes.html

3. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sodas-tea-coffee-can-make-bones-brittle/

At All Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we incorporate proven techniques to share with you and your child at each dental checkup visit. Dr. Allen Job and his team are committed to providing the latest in oral health care prevention. For more information about brushing and flossing check out our preventive care page. Still want more information? Check out our blog posts on prevention! Our practice is centrally located in San Diego, CA.

Scheduling an appointment for your child is easy! Start here to schedule an appointment. All of our forms are online. Fill them out securely from your smartphone or tablet and hit send. On appointment day, your child will be seen at their scheduled time. For example, if you have a 9:00 AM appointment, your child will be seen at 9:00 AM.

So as as one cola company ad slogan puts it, "Obey your thirst!"  Reach for the water, instead of the soda!

Dr. Allen Job, DDS, MS, MPH, MS is a board certified pediatric dentist who practices in San Diego, California, where he specializes in prevention. He is also an assistant professor at Loma Linda University Department of Pediatric Dentistry.