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What To Tell Patients About
Acidic Drinks

by Dustin Gresen

Between sodas, juices, sports drinks, coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, acidic drinks are everywhere. As much as you’d like your patients to avoid them, the reality is that most will not – these drinks have become a regular part of most people’s lives and they are not going anywhere. As we know, consuming these drinks can cause a lot of harm to one’s dental hygiene by weakening the enamel and causing cavities. The best thing you can do for your patients is to inform them about the dangers of acidic drinks and provide action steps they can take to avoid them. Some examples include:

  1. Drinking more water
    Encourage your patients to decrease their consumption of acidic drinks by gradually replacing their regular fluid intake with water until acidic drinks are at a minimum in their diet. Provide them a time frame to work with within the context of how many acidic drinks they consume – the more drinks, the longer this process will take.
  2. Reinforce that “diet” and “sugar-free” don’t mean “healthy”
    Some of your patients may be consuming a lot of “diet” and “sugar-free” soft drinks under the impression that they are healthy. They may be healthier than the regular alternative but are still very damaging to dental health due to the preservative acids, flavor-adding acids, and carbonation in the product. Make sure you patients know this!
  3. Recommend dental products that protect against acid
    Luckily, there are a lot of different dental products, including toothpastes, gels, rinses, and others that are designed specifically to prevent erosion of the enamel and regulate oral pH levels. There may even be an in-office treatment you can offer to address the issue. If you have a patient struggling with issues from acidic drinks, consider recommending them a product or treatment to help them get started making a change.

Acidic drinks are ubiquitous in today’s stores, and your patients are likely consuming more than one type on a regular basis. Get ahead of the problem by informing your patients about the facts and myths about these drinks and empower them with action steps they can take to protect their enamel!

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Montoya, Bethany RDH. (2022). “Acidic drinks and teeth: What to tell your patients” [Article]. 21 September, 2022. DentistryIQ. [Accessed December 7, 2022]