Reducing cavities

chuckr30January 19, 2006

After doing experiments for 20 years and watching my dental checkups, I believe I have found the substance, found in almost all colas, which causes cavities, and it's NOT SUGAR.

While in middle and high school we did not buy pop, it was too expensive, so we drank a lot of coolaid. We brushed our teeth after every meal (especially since we had braces), and I never got a cavity. One year we had a lot of family reunions. They brought pop, so we drank a lot of pop. At the end of that year I got my first cavity at age 18.

Now during my life I had begun to drink colas, Pepsi was my favorite. During the time I drank Pepsi I got even more cavities, sometimes 2 at one dental checkup. They were always small pinhole cavities and my dentist wisely decided to fill them before they got bigger.

Then for whatever reason, I stopped drinking Pepsi and any other colas. Cavities dropped to zero. So I started looking at the ingredients on the labels. I always drank the sugared soft drinks, the diet ones always gave me a weird after taste and I distrusted aspartame. I noticed the one common element among all the cavity-producing sodas: phosphoric acid.

I believe phosphoric acid is what causes cavities, it's not the sugar. Though the sugar can cause you to put on the pounds.

As an experiment in high school the chemistry teacher would always ask for someone's baby tooth. He would put it in a jar of cola and it would be a pile of white dust after about 7 days. Thus illustrating that too much pop is bad for your teeth.

So if you have teeth problems, the colas may very well be the cause. Stop drinking the colas if you don't want more cavities and switch to a new pop without cola. I found that root beer and lemon lime sodas usually don't have phosphoric acid, but you must check every label.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of my brothers had something like 16 small cavities one time. The dentist told him it was the cokes.

There is a company in Fort Smith, Arkansas that makes Dixie cups (or at least there used to be). I've been told that they use uncolored Pepsi to test their cups because it is the most acidic soda to drink.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 1:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My dentist said ANY carbohydrate (aka sugar) will cause cavities, not just sugar, because they all tend to stick to your teeth.

People tend to consume much larger amounts of carbohydrates than they did years ago, in many forms, so it all contributes. Few people think to rinse their mouths out with water after they consume "sugary" foods if they can't brush, and that would even help.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh yeah, phosphoric acid is really bad for you - bad for your bones, your stomach, your teeth! Soda pop is so bad for you - it's too bad so many people drink it but it's their own stupid fault. I hardly ever drink it. The diet stuff is probably even worse since it has aspertame in it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2006 at 7:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Chuck, I agree with you 100%, sugar does not cause cavities... At least not in adults...

Years ago I got on the kick of reading labels on everything I ate... And I was shocked at some of the ingredients they put in all the goodies I liked... So I stopped buying them and started making my own baked goods and snacks... Well I got good at it. so good we both put on a lot of weight... LOL

Needless to say I had to cut back on baking but I still needed my sweets... I solved my weight problem by giving up prepared sweets and putting a teaspoon of regular white sugar in my mouth and let it dissolve every time I wanted a snack...

Yep, that's right... I used sugar to loose weight... Look at it this way, a Little Debbie snack is 150 calories, a candy bar is about 300 calories, a teaspoon of sugar is 15 calories... I quelled my hunger for sweets by taking 3 or 4 teaspoons of sugar a day instead of 3 or 4 snacks... 45 to 60 calories VS 450 to 1200 calories a day... And nary a new cavity in over 15 years...

BTW, the only time I have pop is when my teeth are really grungy, I take a mouth full, swish it around for about 20 seconds. spit it out then drink a glass of water... Presto change-o, clean teeth... LOL

gnujt, right on... That aspartame is some bad stuff... I want to cry every time I see Mothers giving their kids sugar free gum... It says, right on the package, only to be consumed by people on sugar free diets.


    Bookmark   January 28, 2006 at 3:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ritaotay, I believe everyone's chemistry in their mouth is different. And that people under age 20 are more susceptible to getting cavities by sugar than are adults.

Interesting diet you have: the sugar diet!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2006 at 11:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not only phosphoric acid, but recently I read that diet sodas (not the regular sugary ones) have benzene - they use this in jet fuel!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2006 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Could that be (at least part of) the reason that the kids are so jet-propelled?

Think it might help those of us on the edge of second childhood?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   April 26, 2006 at 5:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found this thread very interesting. I have a brother who has always been super-afraid of the dentist. He recently confided to me that he was having pain in his teeth, and he was going to an expensive sedation dentist (not covered on his dental plan).

I asked him why didn't he just go to his regular dentist every six months and then you won't end up with a really bad problem? He just ignores me.

But I feel bad because he is raising his four children alone (mother was a super-bad alcoholic and relinquished custody). I beg him to make their dental appointments, keep saying you have insurance just do it. Who is the adult in this house?

The last time I saw my hygenist I asked her what a person could do if they don't see the dentist regularly, for either fright or money reasons. She told me that gargeling with Listerine is quite helpful.

I found this thread quite helpful too. I will print out "selected" parts (don't want my brother to see my input!!!) If he can't yank all the soda from his kids maybe he will be more selective, like you say and buy lemon-lime and rootbeer. I'm particularly worried about his youngest child whom he feels needs the sedation dentistry also. The mother doesn't want to pay her 50% and I don't blame her. He is just scaring the child. In all other areas he is a wonderful parent but he's just WEIRD about the dentist.

Thanks for letting me vent.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana

Growing up (in the 50s and 60s) I did not have regular dental visits. Finally in my twenties, I was faced with tooth pain, and knew I would have to make myself see a dentist. I asked friends who they saw, and if they liked their dentist, and why. An eleven year old replied, " Go to Dr Stradley. He won't hurt you." I did and still am going to him.

I had an appointment with him this week, and he is now an hour away since I moved away from my home town. He mentioned that I had quite a drive, and I reminded that he had come so highly recommended, that I would never consider going to anyone else.

There are dentists especially for children I think...possibly you could locate a good one for him.

Also, my periodontist said that flossing is even more important than brushing. Without proper flossing, gum disease will occur, and bone loss...the main reasons for loosing teeth with advancing age.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 12:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My quick recommendation (perhaps not exactly definitive):

Extract teeth.

No more cavity problems.

(You may have to deal with others, though).


Practising censorship, are we?

Or ... is that merely to be characterized as "selective presentation of the facts"?

Sort of like the reputation some husbands have developed of "selective hearing loss"?

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 12:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Ole...I just wouldn't want my brother to know that I'm talking about him and his fears on the internet, plain and simple. I do think the original post is interesting and informative and I hope he gets something out of it.


    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does anyone know anything about Xylitol? It's a sugar (naturally occuring) but has somekind of different structure that makes it better for ones teeth. I bought a pound ($6) at a health food store but not sure how best to use it and wow is it expensive. Some gums have it now as a sugar substitute (or partial). Has anyone had experience with this stuff and how best to use it to prevent cavities?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I understand what you're doing - and would probably do similarly, myself.

I had my tongue firmly in cheek when I made my comment.

Quite a few people around here have become used to my quirky sense of humour, but it appears that you haven't.

I hope that my smart-ass comment didn't cause you one second or smidgeon of emotional tension.

Good wishes to you and yours.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 9:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Xylitol has natural anti-microbial qualities and tastes delicious. I have bought the sugar and I have the gum and mints, they're really good, much better than Dentyne sugar free. You're actually doing something good for yourself when you chew the gum and suck on the mints.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 2:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh yeah, Joyful, I know that quirky sense of humor!!

I don't like going to the dentist either; that's why I go regularly to ward off big problems. Just the words "root canal" make my hair stand up.

I think sodas are so unhealthy for children and should only be consumed occasionally.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2006 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

very interesting idea. i'm also 34 and have never had a cavity in my life. as a child i rarely drank soda except when i was ill and then i was given flat coke. i also was made to brush my teeth after every meal, i even had to keep my toothbrush in my schoolbag! i wonder what other foods/beverages contain phosphoric acid though? 2 of my kids age 5 and 6 already have 3 cavities each and i dont allow them to have soda.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

regarding the benzene someone mentioned, benzene is also in drinking water except it is in VERY tiny amounts like 5 parts per billion. and its not just sodas that supposedly contain these cancer causing amounts of benzene. 100's of drinks were tested and it was also found in Giant's brand of light cranberry juice cocktail, crystal light sunsrise classic orange, and AquaCal strawberry flavored water. and those are just the ones that we know of. lord only knows what they ARENT telling us.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 3:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I recommend brushing and flossing.

The dental school did root canal and other work to try to repair my teeth to make up for my neglect of them over the years.

I didn't think that the root canal was that bad, actually - then they extracted it a few months later so now I have a full plate on top.

And left me three on the bottom - but the prosthesis doesn't fit very well. I think one of the three migrated somewhat.

As they fixed, then extracted some of the repaired ones, they gave me a credit on my bill.

I felt that they did what they did in good faith, and had to use resources in order to do those things, so made a contribution to the school of part of the credit.

Which gave me a nice tax-deductible charitable receipt.

Brushing your teeth is sort of like checking the air pressure in your tires - it makes them last longer.

But replacement tires are like the originals.

Replacement teeth - aren't.

A word to the wise.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   May 25, 2006 at 7:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi ole joyful,

No offense taken. I'm new to the boards. I've seen your name on a lot of the posts and want to let you know I really enjoy your style of writing and your wit. I hope to see more.


    Bookmark   June 3, 2006 at 1:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The pH of coke is about 2 (neutral pH is 7). One thing that designates what hazardous waste is is pH. Anything with a pH lower than 2 is considered to be hazardous waste and requires special disposal. You are practically drinking hazardous waste when drinking soda.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Cavities are a mystery to me. I had very good teeth, but during my first pregnancy, despite taking all the vitamins and calcium, I had one tooth just disintergrate and had to have two others almost rebuilt. My first son, that child, had very bad baby teeth. Every one was either filled, pulled or capped. His permanent teeth were very good. The dentist just kept saying 'something must have gone wrong'.

Two subsequent pregnancies and nothing like that happened.

I finally lost one of the rebuilt teeth, but still have the other and no other cavities. That was 56 years ago, and no other cavities. Over the years, I have been a 'good' tooth brusher, but not after every meal or snack, etc.

Most of my life I have had well water, no fluoride, not too much sugar or sodas, but probably more than I should.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2008 at 5:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks everyone for a very informative thread. I heard, back in the 60's, that you could pour Coke on your battery and it would clean off the built-up acid. But I never tried it and just thought it was something someone made up.

I have a big problem in that DH is addicted to Pepsi. He is very loyal to the brand and doesn't like other kinds, although if we are somewhere that doesn't sell the brand, he will drink Dr. Pepper. He buys it himself. There have been times when I have tried to talk him into drinking iced tea instead and he just won't give them up. It's that and his smoking that impacts his health. I know most people would say that he's an adult and has to make his own decisions. However, his loyalty to Pepsi and the cigrarettes he smokes do impact our bank account. So does his less-than-perfect health.

When I had grandsons in the house, one of them was very sneaky and when he moved back in with his mom I found probably 50 empty Pepsi cans in his room as I cleaned it out. I would buy the grandsons (and me) store brands that were less costly than the Pepsi and he would drink those as well when he was in our presence. He probably put away 4 or 5 cans a day, all together.

My brother used to be a trucker and he told me once that he hauled the same chemicals to the soft-drink factories as he did to lawn fertilizer factories. He assumed this ingredient was going into diet drinks and so did I, but now that I think about it, phosphorus is an ingredient in lawn and garden fertilizer.

I'm going to quit buying pop for me. The remaining grandson drinks Kool-aid sometimes and otherwise buys his own pop, although mostly he'd rather spend his money on something else. When I tell him about this he will probably be easy to win over because he just hates going to the dentist.

Rita, I'm not sure it will work for me, but I'm going to try your tip about the spoonful of sugar. I seem to crave sugar, and that is what always sabotages a diet for me. The only way I have been able to diet successfully is if I get completely off sugar. It takes about three days and then my cravings and feelings of hunger go away. I do pretty well until we go to some function where someone almost always presses something sugary on me "to taste", and I'm off the wagon like an alcoholic. I have been tempted to announce to everyone that I am diabetic (I'm not) and maybe then they will respect my need to stay away from sugar. It's not like they can't see that I am approaching being 100 pounds overweight.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 10:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I brushed my teeth after every snack, and now I don't drink sodas anymore. I have not had any new cavities in 4 years. However, I lapsed on my flossing, and now I have gingivitis. Brushing after EVERY snack (and sugary drink) is critical to preventing cavities. But I didn't know that flossing was critical to preventing gingivitis. It is.

Know you know. (Insert animated rainbow.)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have to agree, as a kid we never had pop in the house. My mom always made fresh lemonade in the summer & iced tea & the only other thing we drank was milk.

My mom & dad had no cavities and I had none for years til I started drinking Pepsi. Then I had one cavity. I now drink iced tea mostly, unsweetened, plus it's a good anti-oxident!

Neither one of my kids have cavities either, we never had a lot of pop in the house & they don't drink it much now as adults.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 2:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We never had soda, but had cavities every few years. We had well water and no fluride. DH had well water also, but his parents were younger than mine and they didn't think fluride was a "communist plot" so they added a tablet to each pitcher of water. Their kids, including DH, had much better teeth.

I had a friend who said she flossed every morning. Have to admit that I looked at her like she was crazy and tried to be gentle as I explained that you are supposed to floss after eating, or at least before going to bed. (By morning, the damage is done.) Sigh.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 9:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had etching across my teeth, my mom attributed it to fluoride in the water and Crest toothpaste. Later a dentist asked me if I had been ill when my teeth were just coming in and said tht is what caused the etching. (sorry just some straight lines - no pictures or art LOL)

Otherwise I have had pretty good teeth. I brush with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and rinse well. I also have used Listerine my adult life. I wonder if it isn't inadequate rinsing of toothpaste that is scraped from teeth? Have you ever used toothpaste to fill nail holes in walls?

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It was definitely sweets with one of my grand kids. Never had a cavity until Santa brought him a gumball machine. It was the constant sweet on his teeth. He was at that machine for another gum ball as soon as the sweet taste left him.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hopefully he no longer has a gumball machine!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 5:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No they got rid of it in a hurry.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 3:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Best Money Saving Advice
What do you do that saves a lot of $$$? I know many...
Barcode on the envelope?
I used a envelope which has barcode on it to send a...
Off topic: A sad tale but also true...
A widow friend of mine was telling me today about the...
Cable alternatives
We are moving to a place where we are unable to get...
Harvest forum
There is a forum in the garden web called harvest that...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™