|MadSci Network: Anatomy|
Samantha, Soft drinks do dissolve teeth. Look at the ingredients label on a soft drink product. You will probably see that it contains ascorbic acid and/or acetic acid. Acid dissolves teeth. The carbonation in soft drinks produces carbonic acid which can also dissolve teeth (seltzer has a pH around 3). Sugar is also present in most soft drinks. Sugar is easily digested by the bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth. When bacteria digest sugar, they produce acid. This acid eats away at the outer layer of a tooth and can eventually lead to a cavity. Caffeine does not stain teeth, it stimulates the central nervous system and increases urinary output. Again, look at the ingredients label on most soft drinks and you will see caffeine. Coffee and tea do stain teeth. However, the culprit is not the caffeine they both contain. I don't think we should blame SOFT DRINKS for tooth decay. I think most tooth decay is caused by PEOPLE who don't practice good oral hygiene or see a dentist regularly. Good luck with your science project. Robert Houska Mad Scientist
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