While many of us enjoy a soda or another carbonated drink every now and again, the reality from a dental perspective is that these beverages are bad for your oral health. Especially if they’re consumed in large and regular quantities, they can create a few different concerns for both your oral health and even your overall health in some cases.

At Canyon Rim Dental, we offer numerous general dentistry services to assist our clients in Salt Lake City, from specific needs like dental sealants or fluoride treatments through general concepts like daily oral care and more. We’re often asked why carbonated drinks are bad for your teeth — here’s a detailed answer, plus some of the alternatives you have available.

carbonated beverages bad oral health

Carbon Dioxide and Acid

The two primary ingredients that make carbonated drinks bad for your teeth are carbon dioxide and carbonic acid. The carbon dioxide isn’t what’s dangerous, though. It’s the carbonic acid — a chemical that many of us place in the same category as citric acid or vinegar, substances considered “sour.”

When you pop open a carbonated drink, the carbonic acid that’s been sitting within the mixture will quickly begin to release. This release is what causes the fizz you enjoy, but it’s also one of the leading factors in making these drinks bad for your teeth.

Carbonic acid makes up 0.05% to 2.6% of most carbonated drinks, which means that even if you don’t consume too many carbonated beverages regularly, just a few can be bad for your teeth. Over time, the acid caused by this drink will begin to erode the enamel of your teeth.

The Risk of Tooth Decay, Erosion and Loss

Carbonated drinks are bad for your teeth in more ways than one. Not only do they risk erosion or damage to the enamel due to the acid they contain, but they also have a number of other factors that come together to make them harmful for your dental health.

For example, carbonated drinks are often high in sugar content. Sugar tends to promote tooth decay and cavities — even if it’s not the main cause of them by itself, it still makes matters worse. In most cases, acids and sugars work together to damage the teeth so that they decay.

As a result, it’s not surprising that a lot of people exhibiting symptoms of tooth decay or dental erosion have a history of drinking carbonated beverages. In many cases, limiting your intake — particularly within two hours before going to bed — can help prevent this from becoming a major concern.

Alternatives Available

Luckily, there are alternatives available for those who enjoy the fizz or other elements of consuming carbonated beverages. Mineral or sparkling forms of water, for instance, can offer many of the same properties you want from your carbonated drinks without all of the negative side effects.

Another option is seltzer water, which often contains no sugars or acids at all. This can help reduce your risk for cavities and tooth decay due to the lack of acid present in this particular beverage.

For more on why carbonated drinks are bad for your teeth and oral health, or to learn about any of our general dentistry services in SLC or other parts of Utah, speak to the staff at Canyon Rim Dental today.