Ask the Dentist: Soda Pop & Cavities

Expert answers to your questions about tooth decay.

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Q: Can drinking lots of soda pop cause cavities?

A: Yes. The sugar in carbonated soft drinks is a primary source for cavities. Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar and make an acid that dissolves tooth enamel, which eventually causes cavities. Diet sodas, which have no sugar but contain acids, are not entirely safe.

Many dentists have treated patients whose dental enamel was weakened and worn. And when asked how many colas they drank in a day, the patients would say seven or eight.

Dentist Howard S. Glazer, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and president of the Academy of General Dentistry, says rinsing with water right after drinking a soda cuts the acid's strength in half.

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