Sugar-Free Drinks are Bad News for Teeth, Say Dentists

635847430568573479dietcokecan.jpg

07 Dec 2015 --- Scientists at the University of Melbourne’s Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre have warned about the damage sugar-free drinks can do to tooth enamel.

Researchers in the Centre tested 23 different types of drink, including soft drinks and sports drinks, and found drinks that contain acidic additives and with low pH levels cause measurable damage to dental enamel, even if the drink is 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, CEO of the Oral Health CRC, said.

 “Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the hard tissues of the tooth. In its early stages erosion strips away the surface layers of tooth enamel. If it progresses to an advanced stage it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.”

Early dental erosion can usually be reversed by oral health professionals with treatments to replace lost minerals. In more advanced cases, the lost surface of a tooth may need a filling or crown.

Studies in the Oral Health CRC measured dental enamel softening and tooth surface loss following exposure to a range of drinks.

• The majority of soft drinks and sports drinks caused softening of dental enamel by 30%-50%.
• Both sugar-containing and sugar-free soft drinks (including flavoured mineral waters) produced  measurable loss of the tooth surface, with no significant difference between the two groups of drinks.
• Of 8 sports drinks tested, all but 2 (those with higher calcium content) were found to cause loss of dental enamel.

The Oral Health CRC has this week released a briefing paper outlining the findings of its dental erosion studies and is recommending better consumer information and product labelling to help people consider their oral health when selecting food and drink products.

Professor Reynolds says ‘sugar-free’ labelling does not necessarily mean a product is safe for teeth.

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

Their tips for preventing dental erosion are:

• Check ingredients for acidic additives, especially citric acid (ingredient number 330) and phosphoric acid (ingredient number 338).
• Drink more water (preferably fluoridated) and limit soft drinks and sports drinks.
• After eating or drinking acidic products, don’t brush your teeth straight away as this can remove the softened tooth layer. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and wait one hour before brushing.
• Have regular check-ups with your oral health professional.

To contact our editorial team please email us at editorial@cnsmedia.com

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Labeling debate: Health labels may deter people from buying sugary drinks

25 May 2018 --- Young adults are less likely to buy sugar-sweetened beverages that include health labels, particularly those with graphic warnings about how added sugar can lead to tooth decay, obesity and Type 2 diabetes, according to research presented at this year's European Congress on Obesity (ECO) in Vienna this week. 

Nutrition & Health News

Athletic endurance improved with Beneo's low glycemic carb, study finds

24 May 2018 --- Athletes who consumed a drink containing the functional carbohydrate, Palatinose, before exercise exhibited improved cycling performance, a study at the University of Freiburg has found. This was in comparison with participants who were given maltodextrin, a high glycemic carbohydrate, before exercising. The study's findings could hold potential for the use of Palatinose as a sports nutrition ingredient.

Nutrition & Health News

US FDA takes action against OTC benzocaine products for teething infants

24 May 2018 --- The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that over-the-counter (OTC) teething products containing benzocaine may pose a serious risk to infants and children. The popular numbing agent can offer temporary relief to sore gums in teething infants; however, the FDA advises that companies stop marketing and selling these products for use. The agency is also raising awareness of the risks that, they state, come with other oral health benzocaine products. 

Nutrition & Health News

Diabetes UK: “Consumers want to see clearer calorie labeling on food and menus” 

23 May 2018 --- Consumers are more likely to purchase food if it is accompanied by clear calorie labels on its packaging or on the menu of the establishment, a survey conducted by Diabetes UK’s campaign, Food Upfront, has found. The survey sheds light on how the availability of clear labeling on food and drink could have considerable influence on the spending habits of the British public. Therefore, the campaign is calling for mandatory front-of-pack traffic light labeling on foods and menu calorie labeling in eating establishments.

Nutrition & Health News

Top companies reflect mixed progress on commitment to global nutrition, ranking shows

23 May 2018 --- Nestlé has nabbed the highest ranking spot in the 2018 Access to Nutrition Index (ATNI), reflecting its overall performance in nutrition-related commitments. Meanwhile, FrieslandCampina has improved the most since 2016, climbing four places in the ranking largely thanks to a new strategy to tackle under-nutrition and more responsible marketing commitments. However, the ATNI state that many companies are still doing too little in the realm of nutrition. The ATNI is the third Global Index that ranks the world’s 22 largest food and beverage companies on their contributions to addressing the twin global nutrition challenges of overweight and diet-related diseases and under-nutrition. 

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/sugar-free-drinks-are-bad-news-for-teeth-say-dentists.html