Study: Sugar-free drinks are bad news for teeth

Majority of soft drinks and sports drinks softened dental enamel by 30-50%

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Think sugar-free drinks and candy will spare you the burden of tooth decay? Guess again.

According to a new study from the University of Melbourne, drinks that contain acidic additives with low pH levels cause measurable damage to teeth enamel, even if they’re sugar-free.

“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” Melbourne Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds said in a press release.

Researchers discovered that a majority of soft drinks and sports drinks softened dental enamel by 30-50%. Both sugar-filled and sugar-free drinks — including flavored mineral water — caused measurable damage to the surface of teeth.

Even some sugar-free foods with acidic additives showed to be problematic to dental health.

Professor Reynolds said just because something is labeled “sugar-free” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for teeth.

“We have even found sugar-free confectionery products that are labelled ‘Toothfriendly’ and which when tested were found to be erosive,” he said.

To protect your teeth and prevent dental erosion, you should check food and drink products for acidic additives like citric acid and phosphoric acid, the study recommends.

You should also drink more water and reduce the amount of soft drinks and sports drinks you consume.

For more information on how to protect your pearly whites, click here.

Copyright 2015 KOIN

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