High-acidity drinks can permanently damage kids’ teeth


Permanent damage to enamel happens within the first 30 seconds of consuming drinks including soda, fruit juice and sport drink. Read on to understand how big of a threat these types of beverages are to the teeth of children. Thanks for visiting Saddle Rock Pediatric Dentistry of Aurora, CO. 

Australian researchers are warning parents of the dangers of drinks that are high in acidity, which form part of a “triple threat” of permanent damage to young people’s teeth. These drinks include soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks, and others.

For the first time, dental researchers at the University of Adelaide have been able to show that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack. They published their findings from a tooth enamel erosion study in the Journal of Dentistry (July 1, 2014).

“Our research has shown that permanent damage to the tooth enamel will occur within the first 30 seconds of high acidity coming into contact with the teeth. This is an important finding and it suggests that such drinks are best avoided,” stated corresponding author Sarbin Ranjitkar, BDS, PhD, in a university media release. Dr. Ranjitkar is a member of the university’s Craniofacial Biology Research Group, which is part of the Centre for Orofacial Research and Learning. The research was conducted by School of Dentistry honors student Chelsea Mann.

“If high-acidity drinks are consumed, it is not simply a matter of having a child clean their teeth an hour or 30 minutes later and hoping they’ll be OK — the damage is already done,” he said.

The study results build on a 2012 study in General Dentistry by Poonam Jain, BDS, MPH, and colleagues that tested 13 sports drinks and nine energy drinks for acidity (May-June 2012, Vol. 60:3, pp. 190-197). That study found that both sports and energy drinks caused damage to tooth enamel.

Triple threat

Drinks high in acidity combined with nighttime tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people’s teeth, according to the researchers of the current study.

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