I am often reminded of a lecture I attended in dental school in which the instructor offered, “If you put a tooth in a glass of soda, the tooth will be gone in three weeks!” Though I have never attempted this experiment, it sounds like a nice science project for a young child. The earlier kids learn about the harmful effects of soda, pop, Coke or whatever it is called in your area of the country, the less likely they might be to subject their teeth to overexposure to these beverages.
Despite the popular thinking that sugar is the enemy in soda, the key ingredient responsible for the majority of tooth destruction is the acid in these drinks. This fact supports the line of reasoning that diet soft drinks can be just as harmful to the oral environment as sugar-laden beverages. The introduction of energy drinks to the market and the overwhelming number of teens enjoying them have led to the increased incidence of decay in this demographic.
Adults would be wise to follow the same advice and limit the intake of these beverages. Diligent oral hygiene practice and rinsing with water after drinking soda or energy drinks can help to reduce potential damage to tooth structure. As always, be sure to maintain regular dental check-ups for diagnosis and cleaning. These things all assist in the relegation of the dental drill to the mouths of other people, a principle desired by the overwhelming majority of my patient population!