While you have probably heard that soda can be damaging to your teeth, you may not realize just how much these beverages can harm your dental health. According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the Academy of General Dentistry, soda and illegal drugs could cause equally serious damage to teeth.
Researchers explained that when your teeth are exposed to acids from foods, beverages and even illegal drugs, the enamel that protects them begins to erode. Without enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities and becoming overly sensitive and discolored. The scientists wanted to determine exactly how strong an effect certain beverages could have on teeth, compared to dangerous street drugs.
As Bad As Something Illegal
Scientists compared tooth damage in the mouths of three individuals with different vices. One was an admitted user of methamphetamine, the other used crack cocaine for many years and the final one consumed a large amount of diet soda on a regular basis.
“Each person experienced severe tooth erosion caused by the high acid levels present in their ‘drug’ of choice – meth, crack or soda,” said Mohamed Bassiouny, D.M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study, in a statement. “The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion.”
It was explained that meth and cocaine are both crafted using corrosive materials that may damage the teeth when they come in contact with them.
Researchers said that these findings should encourage people to avoid drinking soda as much as possible, so that they can keep their teeth healthy.
Time to Give Up Soda
As findings have suggested, being a soda addict could be just as damaging to your pearly whites as any other drugs. The Huffington Post spoke to Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., who offered some tips for how you can ditch your diet soda habit.
First, Jackson said that one thing you will probably miss most when you give up diet soda is the fizz. To combat this, she recommended taking one shot of 100 percent juice and mixing it in a glass of sparkling water. This will give you the fizz you crave, but with fewer acids that damage your teeth.
Next, it’s important to break the urge of getting a diet soda. You may be in the habit of getting up from your desk at a certain time every day and purchasing one. Instead of doing that, you should get up at the same time and take a short walk outside or continue to go to the vending machine, but get some sparkling water instead of the diet soda you would normally go for.
Finally, you can easily replace your diet soda habit with water. Water keeps your body hydrated, helps with digestion and has a host of other health benefits that soda does not possess. Also, keep in mind that diet soda is mostly water, so you may be really craving some extra hydration when you go for that soda.
How do you fight off soda cravings? Share with us below!