Food and Behaviour Research

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07 August 2014 - MNT - The balance between acids and host protection in a healthy mouth disrupted by high acidity drinks

Dental researchers at the University of Adelaide are warning parents of the dangers of soft drinks, fruit juice, sports drinks and other drinks high in acidity, which form part of a 'triple-threat' of permanent damage to young people's teeth.


Find the underpinning research here:  

Mann et al, 2014 - Three-dimensional profilometric assessment of early enamel erosion simulating gastric regurgitation

See also: 14 July 2014 - BBC news - Dental charity blames bad baby teeth on 'child neglect'

Sugary drinks not only have detrimental effects on dental health, but also play a major role in the current public health crisis, as debated by speakers at our recent event in London: 10 July 2014 - Sugar, Fat, Food and Addiction: New Approaches to the Public Health Crisis

Please also see: Capewell et al, 2014 - Sugar sweetened drinks should carry obesity warnings

For the first time, researchers have been able to demonstrate that lifelong damage is caused by acidity to the teeth within the first 30 seconds of acid attack.

The researchers say drinks high in acidity combined with night-time tooth grinding and reflux can cause major, irreversible damage to young people's teeth.

"Dental erosion is an issue of growing concern in developed countries, and it is often only detected clinically after extensive tooth wear has occurred," says Dr Sarbin Ranjitkar, corresponding author of a paper on tooth enamel erosion published in the Journal of Dentistry.

"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 okay - the damage is already done," he says.

Dr Ranjitkar suggests children consume fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. "Although fresh fruit is naturally acidic, it is a healthier option to fruit juice, which can have additional food acids in it.