Rochester Dentist Explains How Common Beverages Harm Oral Health

When it’s hot outside, do you reach for a cold beverage to quench your thirst? While staying hydrated through the hot summer months is certainly important for your health, the drinks you may be reaching for can damage your teeth. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and our team at Calcagno Cosmetic & Family Dentistry discuss how certain common beverages harm your teeth and oral health.

Sugars & Acids

Sugars and acids found in many beverages are a dangerous combination. Sugars act as a food source for streptococci mutans—a cavity causing strain of oral bacteria. When you consume sugar, oral bacteria flock to sugar compounds and begin to feed off them. After you consume starches and sugars, your tooth enamel will soften and acid will strip away important minerals from your tooth enamel ultimately leaving your teeth vulnerable to harmful bacteria that cause tooth decay.

Energy Drinks & Sports Drinks

Energy drinks are becoming increasing popular—especially among our younger patients. While they may provide a short boost in energy, the combination of acid and sugar in most energy drinks presents dangers to your teeth. Additionally, sports drinks—while they may seem like a healthy choice after breaking a sweat—are full of sugar and highly acidic as well.


Sodas, even the clear varieties, contain acidic ingredients such as phosphoric and citric acid along with sugar. Over time, your tooth enamel will erode when exposed to these ingredients. Although diet sodas contain artificial sweeteners, their acidic content is the same as non-diet sodas.

Lemonade & Juice

Any citrus-based beverage such as orange juice or lemonade, contains citric acid which is capable of stripping tooth enamel of its minerals over time. Juices also contain natural and artificial sugars.

Dr. Calcagno encourages patients to drink these beverages in moderation with a straw. Patients should also drink water after exposing their teeth to sugars and acid to help rinse away and dilute harmful particles. To schedule a dental cleaning or checkup, contact our Rochester dentist office (507) 281-3659. We serve patients from Red Wing, Hastings, Farmington, Winona, St. Charles, and the surrounding communities.