Sip All Day Get Decay



                                                                                                                               Photo by Stephen Thomas

For many of us, sugar and caffeine are the only things that get us through the day.  The average American drinks 56 gallons of soda per year!  Do you know the effect that sodas and other sugary drinks are having on your teeth? “Sip All Day Get Decay” was a phrase coined by the Minnesota Dental Association to bring to light  the effects of soda and sugary drinks on teeth. Having a soda or other sugary drink is not necessarily a problem, but, sipping on them all day can be!  The longer sugar and acids are in the mouth and on the teeth, the more harm they do. Let’s break it down —  The sugars that we eat are the same sugars that bacteria living in our mouths eat.  Sugars are the primary food source for bacteria (I guess we can say that bacteria have a major sweet tooth).   Bacteria in our mouths digest sugars and excrete their waste (acids) onto our teeth.  These acids released by bacteria break down our teeth leading to cavities.  These acids also irritate our gums leading to gingivitis and they cause bad breath  — YUCK!  Acids in our diet act just like the acids that the bacteria release. So, the thing to remember:  SUGAR + ACID = DOUBLE TROUBLE.  The more time they are in your mouth and on your teeth the more time they have to wreak havoc.

This list measures the amount of acid and sugar in a beverage.  The first number listed is the pH (pH measures acid levels in drinks.  The lower the pH, the more the acid.  Low pH is bad!)  The second number is the amount of sugar in teaspoons.


Acid* Sugar**
Low = Bad Per 12 oz serving

Pure Water 7.0 (neutral) 0 tsp
Barq’s Root Beer 4.0 11 tsp
Minute Maid (R) Orange Juice 3.8 9 tsp
Propel (R) Fitness Water 3.4 1 tsp
Red Bull (R) 3.3 10 tsp
Sprite (R) 3.3 10 tsp
Mountain Dew (R) 3.3 12 tsp
Diet Coke (R) 3.1 0 tsp
Sierra Mist 3.1 10 tsp
Full Throttle Energy Drink 3.0 11 tsp
Diet Pepsi (R) 3.0 0 tsp
Gatorade (R) 2.9 5 tsp
Sunkist (R) Orange Soda 2.9 13 tsp
Dr. Pepper (R) 2.9 10 tsp
Vault Energy Soda 2.9 12 tsp
Amp—Mountain Dew (R) 2.8 11 tsp
SoBe (R) Energy Citrus 2.6 12 tsp
Minute Maid (R) Lemonade 2.6 10 tsp
Pepsi (R) 2.5 11 tsp
Diet Schweppes Tonic Water 2.5 0 tsp
Coca-Cola (R) Classic 2.4 10 tsp
Battery Acid 1.0 0 tsp

* Laboratory tests, Dr. John Ruby, University of Alabama, Birmingham School of
Dentistry, 2007.
** 4.0 grams = 1 teaspoon sugar

Minnesota Dental Association, Sip All Day, Get Decay, c 2002.

Click here to take the “Pop Quiz” and find out if  your teeth are headed for trouble. After you take the quiz, take a look around the web site to learn the hard facts about soft drinks.


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