Most know that sugar is no friend to our dental health. Bacteria highjacks sugar to make acid that damages our teeth. But did you know that sugar-free options may be no better?

A study by the University of Melbourne confirms that sugar-free beverage options, such as diet soda, can be just as destructive. Acidic additives and low ph levels create the same nasty results as the sugar/bacteria combo.

The chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks should be avoided. You’ll want to check for citric acid and phosphoric acid on labels. They are often found in tangy tasting beverages and fruit flavored candies and gums.

If you’ve indulged, be sure to swish water around in your mouth. It shields your enamel before brushing.

Dr. Damian Dachowski is a family dentist and owner of d3dentistry in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina