Is it soda pop or liquid candy?

Staff Sgt. Milicent Cavasos
435th Dental Squadron

For many people, soda pop is usually the beverage of choice to quench a thirst. It is readily available, relatively inexpensive and conveniently portable. Almost every soft drink has a high sugar content that may momentarily help satisfy a craving, however, it can also be highly destructive to teeth. 

One can of regular soda pop contains the entire recommended daily allowance for sugar. There are 11 heaping teaspoons of sugar in just one can. In fact, a 20-ounce Mountain Dew has the highest amount of any soft drink with more than a half cup of sugar. School-aged children are in the greatest danger of having an increased risk of tooth decay, especially when there is the ever-present vending machine.

Also at risk are workers with desk jobs where a soft drink is never far from reach and those with late night tasks and off-shift duties who continuously drink sodas for the brief caffeine boost.

This liquid candy will constantly bathe the teeth in highly concentrated sugar and acids that are damaging to the enamel. The combination of sugar and acid weaken the tooth enamel and flows into deep crevices, seeps between teeth and under the gums causing serious oral health problems.          

Why is this of concern?  If someone drinks five sodas a day, that’s more than 55 teaspoons of sugar, and already equals a third of a normal caloric intake for one day. Even those “healthy” drinks loaded with vitamins and 100 percent fruit juice are also heavily laden with sugars. The empty calories associated with soft drinks not only contribute to tooth decay, but to obesity, diabetes and osteoporosis, as well.