Regular vs. Diet Soda: Which is Better for Your Smile?


Diet soda tastes just like regular soda, but it’s healthier…right? While you might think cutting back on your favorite sugary, carbonated drinks by swapping to diet or sugar-free alternatives is saving you from tooth decay, you might not be doing as much for your oral health as you might think. Here’s the truth behind whether or not choosing diet soda over regular soda is actually better for your smile.

The Dangers of Regular Soda on Your Smile

The truth is, while any super sweet or acidic beverage can harm your pearly whites, the sheer amount of sugar in sodas can really damage your smile. In fact, just one 12-ounce can of soda can have as much as 9 teaspoons of sugar! So, you can see how indulging too often can quickly result in a mouthful of cavities.

How Diet Soda Impacts Your Oral Health

You might be thinking: if the biggest downside of regular soda is sugar, aren’t diet or sugar-free alternatives better? Unfortunately, although diet sodas contain less or no sugar, they typically cause the same amount of enamel erosion as their regular counterparts.

Diet and sugar-free sodas often have the same phosphoric acid found in regular soda. Additionally, they may have citric and tartaric acids in them. These ingredients will wear down your enamel, causing tooth decay over time.

So, Should I Pick Regular or Diet Soda?

Since your enamel gets eroded whichever you choose, you should try to avoid both of them.

Reducing the number of sugary beverages in your diet or finding alternatives will do wonders for your smile. Here are some other drinks you can add to the menu instead:

  • Milk
  • Unsweetened tea
  • Plain sparkling water
  • Diluted juice

If you choose to indulge in soda, try drinking through a straw to minimize the contact between the sugars and your teeth. When you’re done, rinse your mouth out with water. You should also brush your teeth about 20 minutes after finishing your soda so you reduce your risk of tooth decay rather than aggravate erosion.

Of course, the drink that’s best for your oral health is fluoridated tap water. That being said, the number one protection from tooth decay is preventive dentistry, so brush consistently at home and keep up with your biannual dental checkups and cleanings!

About the Practice

Dr. Grant Ringler and Dr. Justin Barnhart provide a comprehensive range of high-quality dental services to protect and preserve your oral health. From a simple professional teeth cleaning to a complex root canal, Drs. Ringler and Barnhart are eager to fulfill all your oral health needs. Their team emphasizes the importance of a pain-free, enjoyable dental experience. If you want to know more about what soda can do to your smile, contact Dr. Ringler and Dr. Barnhart through their website or by phone at (620) 708-4045.