Never, Ever Do This With Sugary Drinks

Never, Ever Do This With Sugary Drinks

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Are you sipping on a sugary beverage as you read this? If so, you’ll want to rethink not only the beverage you’re drinking, but also the way in which you consume it.

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that acids in foods and drinks cause tooth erosion. And the biggest culprits of this are fruit juice and soda.

However, according to a new study’s findings (done by researchers at King’s College London), it is not just what we’re consuming, but how we consume it that affects our risk of teeth erosion.

The researchers primarily drew upon data found in a previous study, where 600 participants (300 with tooth erosion and 300 without) gave the frequency, timing, and duration of their usual consumption of acidic beverages.

The participants also gave histories of how they typically drank the beverages (i.e: sipping, drinking through a straw, swishing around in the mouth first, etc.).

According to Medical News Today:

The team found that the risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion was 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently.

When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion was slashed by half.

“It was also observed that one or less dietary acid intakes a day was not associated with erosive tooth wear,” the researchers note. “If a patient must go above one dietary acid intake per day, it would be prudent to advise them to consume the acids with meals.”

According to the research, the major culprits of teeth erosion include:

  • Sodas (both sugar-sweetened and sugar-free)
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit teas
  • Fruit-flavored candies
  • Adding lemon or lime to hot water
  • Vinegars
  • Pickled foods

According to the research, hot drinks cause more erosion than cold drinks.

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that sipping, swishing, holding, or rinsing these acidic beverages in our mouths before spitting or swallowing can cause an incredible amount of erosion to our teeth.

According to Medical News Today:

[the ada] also [explains] that drinking water or milk when eating and rinsing the mouth after consuming acidic drinks may help to reduce tooth erosion.

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing,” adds Dr. O’ Toole, “it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear.”

“Reducing dietary acid intake can be key to delaying progression of tooth erosion,” she continues. “While behavior change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioral interventions may prove successful.”

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