Why will sipping all day lead to decay?
Many people enjoy having a soft drink. One might sit on your desk that you sip on throughout the day. Or maybe you usually have one within reach in your car for a sip when you’re thirsty. Seems harmless, a little bit here and there is fine, right? Think again.

Popular soft drinks are one of the fastest ways to set yourself up for tooth decay. While they may be tasty and delicious, soft drinks also carry an extremely high acidity level – which is dangerous for your sensitive teeth. How acidic are common soft drinks? They aren’t very far off from battery acid. Acidity is measured on the pH scale, which runs from 1 to 14. Pure water is right in the middle at 7, meaning it’s not too acidic nor too basic. Battery acid is a 1, meaning it’s extremely acidic. The worst soft drink culprit measures a 2.387 and the best comes in at 4.038. Yikes, that’s a lot of acid in your mouth every time you drink a soda.

What does all that acid do to your teeth? The first negative effect is due to the stripping of enamel. Soft drinks are ten times more erosive to the enamel on your teeth than juice in just the first three minutes of drinking – and many people think juices are acidic in nature. Furthermore, consuming soft drinks at night can lead to a dry, acidic mouth that is more likely to cause gum line cavities.

Often times it’s thought that you’d have to consume a whole lot of soft drinks to really do any damage. But that’s part of the problem – Americans do consume an awful lot of soda. In 1966, Americans drank, on average, 20 gallons of soft drinks. By 2003, that number had more than doubled to 46 gallons of soft drinks. That’s a lot of acid on your teeth.

If you must consume soft drinks, use these guidelines:
1. Drink quickly and with a meal.
2. Use a straw.
3. Don’t swish or sip between meals.
4. Limit yourself to one 20 oz. drink per day.

And remember – pure, clean water is 100% natural and still the best choice for a healthy mouth and a hydrated body. It’s especially beneficial to keep it by your bed at night, because combining dry mouth with acidity can be even more dangerous for your teeth.