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Sipping acidic fruit teas can wear away teeth, says study

Sipping acidic drinks such as fruit teas and flavoured water can wear away teeth and damage the enamel, an investigation by scientists has shown.

The King’s College London team found that drinking them between meals and savouring them for too long increased the risk of tooth erosion from acid.

The research, in the British Dental Journal, looked at the diets of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear.

It said the problem was increasing as people snacked more.

Fruit squashes, cordials, fruit teas, diet drinks, sugared drinks and flavoured water are all acidic and can cause wear and tear to teeth, the researchers said.

And continuously sipping or holding these drinks in the mouth before swallowing increased the risk of tooth erosion.

Dr Saoirse O’Toole, the lead study author, from King’s College London Dental Institute, said:

If you drink things for long periods of time, greater than five minutes, or if you play with things in your mouth or if you nibble on fruit over a few minutes rather than eating them as a whole fruit – these are things that can really damage your teeth.

If you’re going to have an apple as a snack at lunchtime, then try not to have anything acidic later on in the evening.

If you are going to have a glass of wine in the evening, then don’t have your fruit tea in the morning.

Just balance things in your diet.

The researchers found people who had drinks such as water with a slice of lemon or hot fruit-flavoured teas twice a day between meals were more than 11 times more likely to have moderate or severe tooth erosion.

But this figure was halved when the drinks were taken with meals.

Sugar-free soft drinks were as erosive as sugar-sweetened ones, the report said. And vinegars and pickled products could also lead to tooth erosion.

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11 Responses

  1. MomoStarr16 says:

    This is so informative. After reading this article it will make me think every time I eat fruits to eat is faster. It also gives me the chill to drink fruit juices which is not really my favorite. But at least I got a good idea and warning about them. I never thought that fruits and it’s drinks can give us negative effect somehow. 🙂

  2. hazel42704 says:

    This quite concerns me a bit because I often drink sweet carbonated drinks. Since that is full of sugar, I feel kin of bad every time I drink one not just for my weight but also for the health of my teeth. One thing I do after drinking something sweet is I would gargle with water twice, letting the water sliding through my teeth so it would wash away some of the sugar that coated the teeth after drinking.

  3. RRI87 says:

    I have done the apple cider vinegar in the past for weight loss and energy purposes and it really did my teeth wrong. Nothing noticeable to the eye, but they were very sensitive and also weak. I was not sipping on ACV, I was drinking 2 liter bottles of water with a strong mixture of it, around 1/12 of the bottle, but that was a lot. My energy levels have never been as good as when I used to do it. Then I read that it does weaken your teeth. Its levels of acidity are very high, or low on the PH scale, basically. Eating pineapple gives me the same sensation. Lemons and limes fall into this category, but those I really love them and eat them like apples, lol!

  4. that_guy says:

    Damn, I didn’t know this! I always had the habit of savouring my drinks, especially tea! I have had frequent problems with my teeth and this just may be the cause of it. The article says the effect is reduced if the drinks are had with meals. Is there any particular reason for that?

  5. alexjpro123 says:

    Well its good to know that this kind of fruits or teas makes our teeth wear away. I can tell my friends to avoid playing acidic drinks and foods in their mouth while eating this kind of food. This kind of information is very good to know. I never thought that fruits and drinks somehow give a negative side effects.

  6. Holmes22 says:

    Well add it to the list of the things that I already have to watch out for. I do tend to like the lemon teas and things like that so I will probably have to watch out a little more. Always nice to know to keep things in the back of my mind that I always tend to forget.

  7. Tatiana Stan says:

    I heard about fruits acidity and that consumed at irregular hours can create damage to your stomach. I also heard about drinks like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite – that they can harm your teeth but I never thought about tea or fruit juice. I will be more careful from now on, thank you, this article was very useful!

  8. oishari says:

    No wonder every time I drink lemonade or natural orange juice my teeth feel rough afterwards. Now I am more cautious of what to drink and eat for the sake of my teeth. Since we cannot stop ourselves from drinking fruit teas and sugared drinks since they are embedded in our lifestyle, what can we do to protect our teeth from erosion? The study also said that the risk is lower when acidic drinks are taken with meals. So does it help to eat food while drinking an acidic drink?

  9. jamprayer says:

    I never thought that eating fruits and drinking fruit juices would have this kind of effect since when I was a kid I was always told to eat fruits rather than junk foods. I am also quite fond of drinking lemon infused water everyday.
    This is quite enlightening and very informative. Thank you for sharing this news to us. Now I am aware of what negative effects of taking acidic foods and/or drinks.

  10. GraceElynna says:

    This is actually very alarming. Since I try to stay away from sodas and carbonated drinks such as Coca-cola, Pepsi and other soft drinks, I like to drink flavored waters and teas so that I can still taste some sweetness and not just bland beverages. I also use some detox waters wherein in one liter of water, I put lemons and cucumbers for additional vitamins, nutrition and flavor. But since there were studies conducted and resulted to a discovery of its negative effects, I will be more careful in drinking such flavored waters.

  11. melvs says:

    So that may have been the reason for my teeth to become eroded or get damaged much quicker. This information is truly beneficial for everyone that will be able to read this post. I will be sharing this to all my friends on Twitter and Facebook. Great job for this informative site.

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