A healthy mouth as a pH at or just below 7.0, and just to give you an idea, fresh water also has a pH of 7.0. Destruction and softening of the tooth enamel occurs when pH levels drop below a range of 5.2-5.5 pH. At this point, acidic levels damage the natural enamel.
Battery acid has a pH of 1.0. No soda has a pH this low, but the lowest known pH of a soft drink is RC Cola, which has a pH of around 2.387, making it one of the most acidic sodas on the market. Coca Cola has a 2.525 pH. The least acidic soda is root beer, which is typically around a pH of 4.038. All of these sodas are still less acidic than stomach acid (which is why patients with uncontrolled gastric reflux disease often suffer from dental problems and enamel erosion.)
Just the acidic levels damaging tooth enamel isn’t all. The sugar and artificial sweeteners found in soda give plaque bacteria something to feed on, creating even more acidic byproducts on the teeth. Frequent exposure to sugar and artificial sweeteners (diet soda) will increase the rate and severity of tooth decay which leads to the need for restorative dentistry including fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations. Liquids typically target areas between the teeth and in deep grooves in the chewing surfaces of the back molars, all of which are difficult to keep completely clean.
Limiting exposure to acidic sodas, and rinsing your mouth with water afterward can reduce the amount of acid exposure on your teeth. If you’re going to enjoy a soda, try to do so during a meal so that other foods can neutralize some of the acid levels. If you’re enjoying it between meals, drink it all at once instead of sipping on it for hours.
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