Drink Soda? Don't Do This For 1 Hour
If you drink a soda to quench your thirst, do not rush to brush after you drain that can.
Why? Carbonated drinks are highly acidic and have the potential to damage a tooth's enamel. Brushing right after you drink can exacerbate this. Instead, wait 30 to 60 minutes to brush, according to new research from dentists at Goettingen University in Germany. Waiting to brush after drinking a soda actually is three to five times more effective at protecting enamel from the erosive effects of carbonated drinks, reports Reuters.
Soda is so acidic that it can actually dissolve the upper layers of the tooth. Thomas Attin, director of the university's department for tooth protection, explained that waiting to brush allows the tooth enamel to mount its own defense against acidic erosion, typically through protective agents in the saliva that help repair and rebuild damaged tooth enamel. Brushing too soon not only destroys this opportunity, but also brushes off the affected layers of the teeth. The research, which was presented at the annual meeting of the German Association for Tooth Protection, was awarded a prize from chewing gum maker Wrigley.
Should you just give up soda altogether and drink juice instead? Maybe not. The dental school faculty at South Africa's University of Stellenbosch did a comparison test on the effects of orange juice, apple juice, Pepsi Cola, and Diet Pepsi. (Although these researchers used Pepsi products, the differences between them and other popular brands of soda--for the purposes of this test on dental health--are not significant.)
While fruit juices definitely provide more vitamins than soda, they are also acidic and that can cause demineralization and softening of the teeth.
HealthScoutNews reports the results: Orange juice and Pepsi were equally harmful to teeth, followed next by apple juice. Diet Pepsi was not only the least likely drink to soften the teeth, but also the least likely to cause cavities.