How soda damages teeth

Ever see a meth head? Some of these junkies look like extras from "The Walking Dead." They've got crazy eyes, blotchy skin full of marks and sores, and hair that falls out in clumps.

But the worst part of all is when they open their mouths and show off whatever's left of their teeth.

The look is so distinctive -- and so horrific -- docs even have a name for it: meth mouth.

Why am I telling you all this? Because you could get a meth mouth yourself even if you've never touched the drug (or auditioned for "The Walking Dead").

Turns out being a soda junkie is almost as bad as being an actual junk junkie -- at least when it comes to your teeth, according to a recent report in the journal General Dentistry.

One woman with a two-liter-a-day soda habit and poor dental hygiene had pretty much all the signs of meth mouth, minus the actual meth. No surprise, since soda -- both regular and diet -- is highly acidic.

Constant exposure to those acids can cause dark stains and erosion and leave your teeth so leathery you could almost make a wallet out of them. And yes, that's pretty much the same damage we see in "meth mouth."

Obviously, this is an extreme case (although not as extreme as you'd think). But you don't have to drink two liters a day to take the bite off your own fangs. Any soda habit will do the trick -- and while it may not give you a true case of "meth mouth" it'll still do a number on your teeth.

So skip the soda, both diet and regular. (Besides, there are DOZENS of other reasons to drop that poison in a can anyway. Just take a look.)

And if you really want a mouth full of the freshest, cleanest, sharpest, toughest, strongest teeth around, be sure to care for them the Douglass Way: Make your own toothpaste with a blend of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Work it in with your fingertips and rinse with the peroxide -- just be sure to spit, not swallow, and don't forget to floss.

Yes, it really is that easy -- in fact, if you follow my plan, your dentist will stop giving you advice... and start asking you for it!

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