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The hot summer months are a tempting time when it comes to drinking soda, cocktails, and sugary drinks. Unfortunately, consuming too many of these drinks can cause serious damage to your teeth. While it doesn’t hurt to enjoy the occasional soft drink or contribute to the lemonade stand down the street, it is important to moderate your sugar intake.

The World Health Organization recommends that an average person should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. For perspective, a single sugar packet or sugar cube contains about 3-4 grams of sugar. A single can of cola contains about 40 grams of sugar and even an 8-ounce cup of lemonade typically has about 25 grams of sugar. Considering that the average American drinks nearly 2 cans of soda per day, this does not bode well for teeth. While a large $1 Coke from McDonald’s may be a great deal for your wallet, the 85 grams of sugar it contains is not so good for your teeth. You should also be wary of the soda, syrup, and fruit juice content of your alcoholic drinks, as these contain high levels of sugar as well. Consuming excessive amounts of sugar can cause many health concerns such as diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and cavities.

Cavity-causing bacteria feed off the sugars from these drinks and eat away at the enamel of your teeth. While diet sodas may not contain the sugar content of regular sodas, that does not mean they are a tooth-friendly option. Diet sodas are very acidic with an average pH of 3.2, and these acids break down tooth enamel.

While staying hydrated this summer, consider replacing soda and alcoholic beverages with healthier options such as water and unsweetened iced tea. Your teeth will thank you.