Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Safest Soft Drink For Your Teeth

Love an icy cold soft drink? Then choose a root beer. Of all types of soft drinks and canned teas, this one does the least damage to your teeth.

Researchers from the dental school of the University of Maryland, Baltimore determined that non-cola soft drinks, including ginger ale, Mountain Dew, and Sprite, as well as canned iced tea are much harder on teeth enamel than any other kind of canned drink, due in large part to acidic flavor additives, such as such as malic acid or tartaric acid, reports Medical News Today. Root beer has the least additives, making it the best soft drink for your teeth.

The study: For 14 days the researchers exposed healthy dental enamel to a variety of popular soft drinks, including Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, Canada Dry ginger ale, and canned Arizona Iced Tea.

The results:

* All of them weakened and permanently destroyed the tooth enamel.
* Diet sodas had the same bad effect as the sugared versions since the main culprit is the acidic additives.
* The most harmful were non-cola drinks, which caused two to five times the damage as darker cola drinks.
* Root beer, which contains the least amount of flavor additives, was found to be the "safest soft drink to safeguard dental enamel."
* Canned iced tea caused 30 times the damage to tooth enamel as brewed tea or coffee.
* Brewed black tea, root beer, coffee, and water had a minimal effect.

Adding to the problem is our own mouth acidity. If that increases, the chemical reaction with the soft drink hurts our teeth even more, according to lead study author J. Anthony von Fraunhofer. The end result: tooth decay. One thing you can do to protect your teeth is to rinse your mouth with water after drinking a soda.

We love soft drinks in this country. A whopping 95 percent of Americans drink soda. Soft drinks account for about 27 percent of the beverages consumed in the United States. The average 12- to 19-year-old drinks about 28 ounces of soft drinks every day.

The study results were published in the General Dentistry, the newsletter of the Academy of General Dentistry.
--From the Editors at Netscape

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