Teeth Staining from Soda, Cola and Other Carbonated Drinks

Soft,Drinks,And,Fruit,Juice,Mixed,With,Soda,High,InNot only can sugary beverages like soda leave your teeth vulnerable to tooth decay, but this type of beverage can cause your smile to appear yellow, leaving you self-conscious when you smile.

Teeth whitening lets you achieve a brighter smile by bleaching away these stains, but you can also reduce your soda consumption to avoid discolored teeth.

Does Soda Stain Teeth?

Tooth-staining from soda is mainly caused by two substances: phosphoric acid and chromogens. Phosphoric acid is added to soda for flavoring. Although this ingredient is largely responsible for giving soda its flavor, phosphoric acid weakens your tooth enamel —the protective layer on the surface of your tooth. Teeth with weakened enamel are more susceptible to the stain-causing ingredients of various foods and beverages.

Chromogens give soda its color, but they also stain your teeth. When phosphoric acid has eaten away your tooth enamel, chromogens can easily cause a yellow appearance.

You can prevent teeth stains from soda by:

  • Reducing or eliminating the beverage from your diet.
  • Using a straw to prevent contact between the soda and your teeth.
  • Thoroughly rinsing your mouth with water after drinking soda.
  • Drinking soda within a short period of time and then rinsing, instead of sipping slowly over an extended period of time.

Is Phosphoric Acid Bad for Your Teeth?

Coke, Coke Zero, Mountain Dew, Pepsi Max, Sprite, you name it. Soda is loaded with phosphoric acid, which is highly damaging to the teeth’s outer layer. When the enamel is eroded by phosphoric acid, your teeth become weaker and more susceptible to decay. This is why so many people are raised being told soda causes cavities. The combination of sugar and phosphoric acid in soda ultimately leads to weaker teeth and more bacteria in the mouth, a recipe for cavities and tooth decay.

Can You Drink Pop With Braces?

If you are currently undergoing orthodontic treatment, then you’re already familiar with the many food restrictions that come with braces. Although you can drink anything you want with braces, soda is not advised because of its corrosive effect.

One thing you absolutely want to avoid is developing tooth decay and cavities with braces. This can be much harder to treat if soda begins to wear down the enamel on your teeth that have metal brackets affixed to them.

If you want to enjoy the occasional pop, there’s nothing wrong with that. But to limit damage, use a straw, and rinse your mouth with water afterward. And be sure to brush ASAP!

How Often Should I Drink Soda?

Drinking one soda every now and then won’t ruin your teeth. However, it is important to limit sugary drinks and acidic beverages if you want to protect your mouth. The most important thing to remember is that soda’s effects on teeth aren’t merely cosmetic. By disrupting the alkaline balance in your mouth, soda can cause harmful bacteria to thrive and lead to the development of tooth decay and cavities.

Repeatedly drinking soda is why you may experience ongoing issues with your teeth despite brushing and flossing every day.

Why Do I Have Acid Spots From Drinking Soda?

Patients who drink large amounts of soda frequently are more likely to notice discoloration, including acid spots on their teeth. Different colored spots are linked to different bacteria. For example, an orange spot is closely tied to cavity formation, and it tends to be sticky.

The acid in soda disrupts the natural pH balance in your mouth, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and promoting a higher risk of cavities and gum disease.

You are most likely to notice your teeth take on a yellowish hue after drinking a lot of soda. The brown or dark yellow spots you may call acid spots or soda spots come from erosion of the enamel, which reveals the second layer of your teeth — the dentin.

How Do You Treat Soda Spots on Teeth?

Porcelain veneers and teeth whitening are cosmetic dentistry options that improve the appearance of stained teeth. However, before you explore cosmetic treatments, it’s vital to work with your dentist and address any oral health problems you may have as a result of drinking soda.

Patients who consume a lot of soda may have repeated cavities, and their weakened enamel poses a greater risk of future tooth decay. There are several potential options for addressing this issue:

  • Nutritional counseling. Your dentist can offer advice on sugar-free or low-sugar alternatives to soda that could give you the same satisfaction without harming your teeth. 
  • Reducing soda consumption. One of the easiest ways to reduce the harmful effects of soda on teeth is to drink it less frequently and in smaller amounts.
  • Treat cavities. Inlays, onlays, and fillings are all options for treating cavities. Sometimes, a crown may also be best to protect your tooth.
  • Address gum disease. Patients with tooth decay may also have gum disease. Your dentist will recommend treating this before any cosmetic treatments to prevent tooth loss.
  • Flouride treatment. Flouride is a tooth-strengthening mineral that can help fortify your enamel. Although it cannot cause enamel to regrow, it can offer another layer of protection after your teeth have been damaged by soda.

Does Clear Soda Stain Your Teeth?

Many patients wonder if clear sodas, like Sprite and 7-Up, are equally bad for their teeth. The answer is yes. Though they may be lighter in color than Coke and other sodas, clear soda is still acidic and can erode your enamel.

Coca-Cola is almost as acidic as battery acid. When it comes to protecting your smile, clearer sodas are often safer, but they should still be consumed in moderation.

Your Healthier Smile Starts Here

From cavities to teeth-whitening, Dr. Chung can offer full mouth restoration at Softouch Dental in Oakton, VA. He is an accomplished dentist who studied at Johns Hopkins University and completed his dental training at the esteemed Las Vegas Institute (LVI) for Advanced Dental Studies with a focus in Comprehensive Aesthetic Reconstruction.

If you are interested in scheduling a visit with Dr. Chung, please contact Softouch Dental at 703-319-6990.

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  • 02.

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  • 03.

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“Dr. Chung is the best, he has cared for me for over 15 years. He is always available. He has been attentive and taken care of all my issues before they were painful or bad. He has helped me with a good program for taking care of my teeth and they are beautiful. I receive complements about my pretty teeth and smile. The staff is attentive to detail they have prevented the things we dread. I have great respect for his care and his opinions and so happy to have found him.”

– Patricia Debearn

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