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It’s True! Coca-Cola Ruins Your Teeth

Updated on April 10, 2015

Skin O’ My Teeth…

I’ve kept quiet for long enough; for no particular reason at all.

There have been numerous myths over time involving Coca-Cola or ‘Coke’ (not cocaine, although I’m sure it has its myths too).

I'm sure you've probably heard of these myths and this one in particular before.

Popular TV series like Brainiac and The Mythbusters have delved into these with their own experiments.

You name it, and there’s been a myth surrounding it, with Coke being used to clean up blood stains, polish metal, clean jewelry and coins, and used as a detergent.

And then there was the myth which has garnered a lot of attention over many decades, “Can Coca-Cola dissolve your teeth?” There has long been the debate over whether Coca-Cola ruins your teeth, and of course Coca-Cola will not admit to it, but I can honestly say one thing about this myth with all my heart, “Yes, it can!”

Even though I like watching The Mythbusters, they got it wrong unfortunately, when it came to testing whether this myth is true. They put a tooth in a dish filled with Coca-Cola for two days, and afterwards, they claimed that it had not dissolved, and declared the myth ‘busted’.

This shocked me no end, as I can honestly tell you that teeth do dissolve; I have the X-rays, photos and angry dentists to prove it.

First off, if you noticed the colour of that tooth when they pulled it out, it was absolutely brown. That can’t be good. That alone should be warning enough, as it stains your teeth. I’ve read that this is what contributes to tooth decay, when the sugar sticks to your teeth. Secondly, they only left it in the dish for two days, and it wasn’t in a person’s mouth. You wouldn’t think it makes a difference, but it obviously does.

"There has long been the debate over whether Coca-Cola ruins your teeth, and I can honestly say one thing about this myth with all my heart: 'Yes, it can!'"


My Bad Trip with Coca-Cola

My story started when I was thirteen. I would come home from school and drink glass after glass of the stuff. I must have had four or five glasses per day, and that lasted for a year, until my next trip to the dentist.

He nearly had a fit! He compared drinking coke to bathing your mouth in acid or brake fluid!

That’s how bad it is, especially if you swish it around in your mouth. He took action and temporarily fixed it, and told me that I had to wait until I was in my twenties until I could have anything major done, as your teeth aren’t fully developed in your early teens (the second dentist, who was better trained and educated, said a person can have it done as young as eighteen).

Years passed, and I had bad teeth and not to mention, I was grinding them too (a surprisingly common condition called ‘bruxism’). One could argue that it was this and not coke; but it wasn’t just one opinion that I received. I saw another dentist and she had the same opinion. Both dentists had patients over the years who had suffered the same thing.

The thing with bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is that it’s from side to side, and impacts the molars, at least in my case. The teeth that were ruined by the Coca-Cola were the upper front four, in between the canines (some people refer to the main two as your permanent teeth). This makes sense seeing as when you take a liquid like a soft drink in to the mouth, it makes contact with these teeth first.

The two put together are very bad as you can imagine, as one is possibly exacerbated by the other, but in my opinion, they are two separate cases.

When I got older, I was informed that because of this, I had to have my teeth capped, and have crowns put in, as well as wear a bite plate at night. If I hadn’t had the operation when I did, they told me that it would almost certainly lead to reconstructive jaw surgery later on because of the deterioration of the upper front four teeth due to Coca-Cola consumption.

Nowadays, I have new teeth after the operation that I had done years ago, and according to the lab technicians that make the crowns, I am the first person in the whole of South Africa to have four crowns in a row, done at the same time; at least that’s what they told me. My upper lip is now fuller and I have a better bite and smile.

"My dentist compared drinking coke to bathing one's mouth in acid."


Oh my god! What now? Here are some things to remember if you think you’re in trouble:

1. Think about drinking with a straw. This way the liquid will bypass your teeth and go straight to the back of your throat.

2. Don’t swish the drink around as it can coat multiple teeth and make matters worse.

3. Always rinse your mouth out with water after drinking anything, as it might not just be Coca-Cola; anything that is fizzy or has sugar in it might just contribute to damaging your teeth.

4. Water and milk are good for your teeth. Water helps neutralize any acids in the mouth, and milk can potentially build up calcium, but not enamel.

5. Diet drinks are an option, but make sure to read the contents on the side or back. If it has aspartame in it (and most do), avoid it.

6. Take good care of your teeth in general; always floss, and brush them too. Wait until half an hour has passed after eating or drinking before brushing your teeth though, otherwise you risk taking the enamel off.

7. You can use dental chewing gum, but I’ve read the ingredients of most of them, and it also has aspartame in it, which is bad.

8. A bite plate is a custom made thing. It is not the same as a gum-guard. You have to have it made especially for your teeth by a dentist. Always make sure to wash it every day with water and toothpaste with fluoride in it. You can also soak it in something that contains fluoride, like a mouthwash.

9. Crowns are also made especially for your teeth, and they are different from fillings. They are usually made out of porcelain or sometimes acrylic. Make sure not to put unneeded pressure on them, like tearing things. If they come out they have to be re-glued with dental cement.

I can say one thing about the whole debacle, “Myth confirmed”. Apologies to The Mythbusters, it’s not your fault, but I hope you read this article (they should because I sent an email to Jamie Hyneman's top secret email address a while back).

“Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill.”

— Johnny Carson

Have you had any bad experiences with Coca-Cola?

See results

© 2008 Anti-Valentine


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    • profile image

      damien sandow 3 years ago

      this is true! my mum had it

    • larakern profile image

      larakern 4 years ago from Georgia

      Anti-Valentine, thank you for sharing this great article! I have a serious addiction to sodas and I am a compulsive grinder. In fact, I've been know to grind through sport mouth pieces in under a week. My husband and brother-in-law are making me give up my sodas because it is terrible for your health. I was a little weary at first but after reading your article I am glad that they are looking out for me. Now that I know what sugary sodas can do, it will be much easier for me to kick the habit. Great article!

    • dianagamzinai profile image

      Diana 5 years ago

      ok. this is scary. :o

    • profile image

      Madison 5 years ago

      Coke really does ruin your teeth!

    • profile image

      Jane 5 years ago

      Here is a recent film showing what really happens to a tooth being soaked in cola for a year. It's of course not the same thing as drinking cola, but will maybe give you something to think about:

    • profile image

      Barb Jansen 5 years ago

      Alcohol, coffee and Coca-Cola are adult drinks and not good for your teeth. I do not drink coffee or alcohol but since I was a teenager I have about half a can of coca cola a day which I drink with a straw. At seventy seven I still have my own nice white teeth, but I drink water the rest of the day and brush regularly. I love my cola. My advice is: Look at coke like alcohol, enjoy it in moderation, use a straw and brush your teeth.

    • teethpro profile image

      teethpro 6 years ago

      I forgot the when the last time I drank Coca-Cola for I haven't touched Coca-Cola and other carbonated drink for such a long time. A few tips that I find useful from your hub and can practically apply when drinking sugar-contained liquid is to use straw and rinse my mouth. Great tips!

    • profile image

      Chris Ward 6 years ago

      I wore braces for year's. Has Pearl White teeth. I came home from the Gulf War and started drinking 12 to 15 cokes a day and my upper eye teeth are getting serious cavities. My enamel is worn to the gum line on all my teeth. I hope there is a procedure to have white teeth WITHOUT having to have them pulled and having to wear false teeth. Mine has gotten way out of hand and I do not have dental insurance. I want white teeth again, any ideas?

    • profile image

      Josefin 6 years ago

      This scares me so much...I've always had a problematic relation to my teeth. One summer when I was 12, I think, I had a dentist tell me that I must not be taking care of my teeth since I had 2 cavities that would require fixing. So, that summer, I didn't drink ANY soda, only milk and water and at some points lemonade. I brushed 2 times a day, used fluor and chewed dental gum after each meal. I was SURE it would've helped.

      When I got back to the dentist in the autumn, I had 5 cavities and 3 of those would need instant fixing, and the dentist jerk told me I had to stop being lazy. That scarred me.

      Now I'm having all sorts of troubles with my teeth. For one I have a cavity on the surface of the left front tooth, I can feel it with my tongue....have I been drinking cola? Yes, but not to an extreme extent and I always rince with water/milk and I brush and use dental wash.

      That's over now though, I'mma stop drinking cola, no more! I have been cursed with bad teeth and it's obvious coca cola is not helping!

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 7 years ago from My lair

      Yeah, I get what you're saying. It wasn't just Coke that ruined my teeth. It was Coke and practically any other soft drink out there, as well as other drinks that contain sugar. Fruit juice can also do it.

      And it wasn't one to two years. I think my teeth became worse over a period of about five or six years at least.

    • profile image

      BIOMAN 7 years ago

      I find that coke could hurt your teeth, but i am a scientist and the one thing we are taught is that correlation does not equal causation. By this i mean that it could have as easily been that you ASSUME that drinking coke did this to your teeth, because you drank it during early childhood. Myself, as a prospective dentist, can tell you that i had a similar issue in early life. Come to find out, when i was little i had my teeth knocked out and in combination with a higher fever, my front teeth developed early and improperly during cell proliferation. I'm not at all debunking your article, as you have great information pertaining to maintenance of teeth and dentition. Although coke IS bad for your teeth, just because you have x-rays and drink coke means about as much as me saying i fart and that's why rainbows appear,because i farted once, and saw a rainbow.....that being said, yes coke will rot your teeth, definitely, but not to the extent of which you speak in a one to two year period.

    • profile image

      n.k-unknown-5th-grader 7 years ago

      I'm doing my science fair project about this, and when i told my friends about this, they said that they are never drinking soft drinks again!!!

    • profile image

      jarrod 8 years ago

      Minor correction, by:

      "low enough high enough ph"

      I mean

      "high enough ph"

      Evidently my brain couldn't make up its mind ;-)

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Yeah I know. I still have a coke occasionally.

      It took me a while to be comfortable with it. I find that as long as you rinse your mouth out with water, and brush your teeth, there's less chance of what happened to me happening to you.

      Still, it would be best if you could cut down to maybe a glass or two a day. It'd be cheaper as well.

    • profile image

      Ibrahim 8 years ago

      Godammit, I am sooo Addictive to coke, and i just can't stop drinking them, I buy 2 big bottles of coke every day, sometime 4.. And i dont know how to quit..

    • profile image

      Dentist Jobs 8 years ago

      Any high acid/suger food or drinks aren't great for our teeth, Its just super important make sure you keep your teeth cleaned at least twice a day if not more.

      Great article - Cheers

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Probably the safest thing to do.

    • profile image

      anna  8 years ago

      it scares me i will neverrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr everrrrrrrrrrrr drink coke agon

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 8 years ago from My lair

      Okay. You mean you're doing a project on the topic? Make sure not to copy it if you decide to source this article.

      Good luck.

    • profile image

      Claudia Somoza  8 years ago

      Yeaah , Im doing a Project out of this .

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 9 years ago from My lair

      "I too have learned the hard way about Coke and Pepsi products effects on teeth."

      Sorry to hear about that.

      Yeah, cigarettes make your teeth yellow, mess up your taste buds, your sense of smell, and give you bad breath among many other things. Now I know why I stopped!

    • Apepperson profile image

      Apepperson 9 years ago from Texas

      I too have learned the hard way about Coke and Pepsi products effects on teeth. Cigarettes also do a lot of damage, maybe more so than the cola. Not sure why, but it does.

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 9 years ago from My lair


    • tega20002k3 profile image

      tega20002k3 9 years ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      I quite agree with your opinion. Great Hub.

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 9 years ago from My lair

      Well, everyone knows now, for sure.

    • profile image

      Rach 9 years ago

      Well i rekon the myth was a glass of coke can completely dissolve a tooth in one day. And that was obviously disproved. However everyone knows coke rots your teeth over prolonged periods as does many acidic drinks and sugars.

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 9 years ago from My lair


    • profile image

      Anonymous 9 years ago

      Cool Article!!

    • Anti-Valentine profile image

      Anti-Valentine 9 years ago from My lair

      Run over by a truck! That's bad luck!

    • profile image

      David Rachlin 9 years ago

      You can say that Coca-Cola killed my neighbor. He was run over by a delivery truck!


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