LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - The Academy of General Dentistry recently released a study saying diet soda can decay teeth as much as meth and cocaine, but local dentists say this is pure exaggeration.
"The study is based off of three patients, two were meth addicts and the other has quite apparently never had regular dental care in his life," Regina Swanson, a registered dental hygienist, said.
So why does the study liken soda tooth decay to meth and cocaine tooth decay?
"Soda's have three main ingredients—sugar, carbonic acid, and syrup, which are all very detrimental to the teeth. And it's much the same way as meth or some of those similar drugs that can deteriorate the teeth. So can sodas," Amy Ross, a dentist, said.
But Swanson says it's irresponsible for the study to say diet soda can decay the teeth as much as crystal meth.
"Regular soda? Very possibly. Diet soda is definitely the lesser of two evils. The amount of sugar that is in a soda combined with bad oral hygiene, you are doomed to have lots and lots of decay," Swanson said.
Swanson says soda will cause decay if you don't take care of your teeth, but the decay won't be close to what is being exposed in the survey.
"Soda definitely causes decay, some people get lots of decay (and) some people very little decay. It starts to make the enamel soft especially when you don't have good oral hygiene, you don't floss, you don't brush," Swanson said.
Swanson says she recommends her customers to not drink soda, but says if you are going to drink soda to not sip it throughout the day.
She also says you should brush your teeth right after you drink soda, and if you are unable to brush your teeth to wash your mouth out with water.
The moral of the story? One can of soda is not going to hurt your teeth as long as you practice good oral hygiene.