Soda Pop

Soft Drinks or soda pop can cause dental cavities and affect your general health.

Tooth Decay:

  • Sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acid.
  • Acid attacks the teeth. Each acid attack lasts about 20 minutes. These acid attacks occur with each sip.
  • Ongoing acid attacks weaken tooth enamel.
  • Cavities begin when tooth enamel is damaged.
  • Diet or “sugar free” soda pop also contain acid and can harm your teeth. Although fruit drinks are not carbonated, they also have acid and sugar that cause tooth decay.

Reducing Tooth Decay:

  • Drink soda in moderation
  • Don’t sip on soda for extended periods of time. Sipping exposes your teeth to prolonged sugar and acid attacks.
  • Use a straw to keep soda away from your teeth. After drinking soda, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the sugar and acid that cause tooth decay.
  • If you drink soda pop or juice before bed, be sure to brush your teeth.
  • Drink water instead of pop. It has no sugar, no acid, no calories and contributes to overall health.
  • Get regular dental checkups and cleanings. Floss regularly and use a fluoride toothpaste to help remove bacteria buildup and prevent tooth decay.


  • Soft drink companies pay school districts large royalties in exchange for the right to market their product exclusively in the schools, which in turn boosts pop sales among kids.
  • American consumption of soft drinks including carbonated beverages, fruit juice and sports drinks increased by 500 percent in the past 50 years.
  • Americans drank more than 53 gallons of soft drinks per person in 2000. This amount surpassed all other beverages. One of every four beverages consumed today is a soft drink, which means other, more nutritious beverages are being displaced from the diet.
  • * Today, one fifth of all 1- to 2-year-old children drink soda pop and teens drink twice as much soda as milk as opposed to 20 years ago when they drank twice as much milk as soda.
  • * A bottle of pop in the 1950s was 6.5 ounces. Today, a 12-ounce can is standard and a 20-ounce bottle is common. Larger container sizes mean more calories, more sugar and more acid in a single serving.
  • * In regular pop, all the calories come from sugar. Soda pop is America’s single biggest source of refined sugar.
  • * In addition to cavities, heavy pop consumption has been linked to diabetes, obesity, kidney stones, heart disease and osteoporosis.

Statistics © 1998 Center for Science in the Public Interest. Adapted from Liquid Candy Report.

Pi Dental Center, Fort Washington, PA