Diet soft drinks are everywhere.
"I have to have it," said Amy Gruba. "It's something instead of coffee, I have to have a Diet Mountain Dew in the morning"
It is people like Gruba, who seem to need diet soda, that cause concern for dentists, especially after a new study showed consuming diet drinks is as bad on your teeth as using meth or crack cocaine.
Dr. Bob Marlot has been a dentist for 30 years, and during that time he has seen just about every tooth-related issue. He says the problem arises when soda starts wiping out the tooth's enamel.
More than a decade ago Dr. Marlot joined with the Minnesota Dentist Association on an awareness campaign called "Sip All Day, Get Decay," so talking about the damage soda does to teeth is nothing new to him.
For shock value, he shared a photo of a 30-year-old's mouth that he says looks like that of an 80-year-old.
"It's all about the acid and how much hits the surface of the tooth and how long it's in contact with the tooth," said Dr. Marlot.
If you take a tooth and drop it into a diet soda, Dr. Marlot said, it won't be long before it dissolves.
Drinking soda doesn't work that quickly, but someone who drinks five cans a day can see damage done in around a decade – and by then it is usually too late.
"By the time there is a problem, we go ‘what happened here?' and it's almost too late to do something about it in some incidences," he said.
Dr. Marlot has some recommendations for those that can't kick the sugary habit.
• Don't brush your teeth until at least 30 minutes after you drink diet soda, brushing right after just rubs the acid onto the teeth -- compounding the problem
• Rinse with water after drinking soda.
• Also try not to drink more than 2 or 3 sodas a day (three per week is recommended)