If there weren’t already enough reasons for you to quit drinking diet soda (it packs on belly fat, doesn’t actually help you lose weight, and dehydrates you, which ultimately slows your metabolism), today we have one more: Diet soda is destroying your teeth.
Researchers from the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre recently studied what drinking diet soda does to our teeth, and found that it causes just as much surface damage as drinking regular soda. That it’s sugar-free made no difference in eating away at enamel.
Of course, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that soda isn’t great for your teeth, whether you’re drinking the diet kind or not. But due to the chemicals in diet soda — specifically acids, which contain lower pH values — the researchers concluded that “most of the products were potentially erosive, indicated by measurable softening and loss of tooth enamel following exposure to the products, and a reduction in healthy mineral levels in saliva.”
Their recommendations to combat the erosion of your teeth include drinking more water; waiting an hour to brush your teeth after drinking a soda or sports drink; limiting your intake of these drinks to mealtimes; and chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow, which helps rinse away acids. Most importantly, the study reminds us to schedule regular check-ups with our dentists.
As the Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre confirms, going sugar-free is not enough to protect your teeth — and diet soda definitely isn’t going to help keep your pearly whites nice and bright. If you need another reason to kick that soda habit, you can officially add “oral health” to the list.
(Image via Shutterstock.)