Drinks such as regular soda, diet soda, sports drinks, canned iced tea and lemonades can lead to extensive tooth decay, enamel destruction and poor dental health because of the low pH or acidity of the drinks.
Enamel is the hardest substance in the body but it is susceptible to breakdown from acids found in soda/drinks. The more acidic the drink (the lower its pH), the more rapid the enamel destruction. Tooth enamel dissolves below 5.5. It is important to note that exposed root surfaces demineralize twice as fast as that of enamel.
Soda/drinks may contain carbonic, phosphoric, malic, citric and tartaric acids and therefore have an acidic pH. No differences in enamel breakdown were found between regular and diet versions of the same brand. Root beer appears to be the safest soft drink for the health of dental enamel. Also, non-cola drinks and canned iced tea cause more breakdown of enamel than cola drinks. We recommend rinsing after drinking carbonated beverages.