Soft Drinks and Oral Health

This page has been automatically translated from English. MSDH has not reviewed this translation and is not responsible for any inaccuracies.

Soft drink consumption is one of several leading causes of tooth decay. Carbonation, sugar and acids in soft drinks weaken tooth enamel and encourage the growth of bacteria that contribute to tooth decay. MSDH wants to help you reduce the impact of soft drinks on your and your kids’ teeth and health.

Get the facts on how tooth decay starts and what you can do to prevent it.

How Tooth Decay Starts

  • Sugar in soda combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid.
  • This acid, plus the extra acid from soft drinks, attacks the teeth. Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes, and acid attacks start over again with every sip.
  • Ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel.
  • Cavities begin when tooth enamel is damaged.
  • Remember, diet or "sugar-free" soda still has acid that can harm your teeth. Although fruit drinks aren't carbonated like soda, they too have acid and sugar that can cause decay.

Reduce the Risk

  • Drink carbonated beverages (soft drinks, soda pop) in moderation.
  • Give infants and toddlers these beverages in a regular cup. Sucking on a bottle or sippy cup filled with these beverages promotes tooth decay.
  • Use a straw to help keep sugar away from your teeth while drinking.
  • Choose fluoridated water instead of fizzy drinks.
  • Avoid drinking soft drinks and fru it juice before bedtime.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth soon after using either of these.
  • Get regular dental checkups and cleanings.

Acid and Sugar in Soft Drinks

Drink Acidity Sugar Amount
Battery Acid
9.8 tsp.
9.3 tsp.
Minute Maid Orange Soda
11.2 tsp.
Dr. Pepper
9.5 tsp.
3.3 tsp.
5.0 tsp.
Diet Pepsi
Mountain Dew
11.0 tsp.
Minute Maid Grape Soda
11.9 tsp.
Diet Coke
Diet Dr. Pepper
9.0 tsp.
10.7 tsp.
Pure Water00
Last reviewed on Jul 30, 2013 request edits
Mississippi State Department of Health 570 East Woodrow Wilson Dr Jackson, MS 39216 866‑HLTHY4U Contact and information

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