Everyday Health reports that both diet and sugar-sweetened soda damage teeth by exposing them to corrosive acids. Sodas contain citric and phosphoric acids. Both acids dissolve tooth enamel over time.
A case study and literature review in the Journal of Zhejiang University Science maintains that there is a correlation between frequently drinking soda and poor dental health. This is attributed to both the acids in diet and regular sodas and the sugar in regular sodas. Enamel erosion from acid, which weakens the teeth, is most likely to occur when the soda is held in the mouth before swallowing.
MedlinePlus states that dental cavities form when sugars from food and beverages react with bacteria on the teeth forming an acid. This acid eats away at the teeth creating a hole. The sugar that sweetens regular sodas contributes to dental cavities by working in this manner.
According to WebMD, drinking soda with a straw minimizes tooth damage from soda and other acid-rich or sugary drinks. Placing the straw near the back of the mouth away from the teeth provides that best protection. Rinsing the mouth after drinking and a proper dental hygiene routine that includes regular brushing, flossing and professional dental cleanings also minimizes tooth damage from soda.