Academy of General Dentistry has revealed that root beer products are safest for teeth, for they do not cause dental erosion, which involves loss of tooth structure.
Consumers often consider soft drinks to be harmless, believing that the only concern is sugar content. Most choose to consume “diet” drinks to alleviate this concern. However, diet drinks contain phosphoric acid and/or citric acid and still cause dental erosion—though considerably less than their sugared counterparts.
“Drinking any type of soft drink poses risk to the health of your teeth,” said AGD spokesperson Kenton Ross, DMD, FAGD. Dr Ross recommends that patients consume fewer soft drinks by limiting their intake to meals.
Dr Ross also suggests patients to drink with a straw, which will reduce soda’s contact with teeth.
“My patients are shocked to hear that many of the soft drinks they consume battery acid,” Dr Ross explained.
Researchers concluded that non-colas cause a greater amount of erosion than colas. Citric acid is the predominant acid in non-cola drinks and is a major factor in why non-cola drinks are especially erosive. There is a significant difference between sugared and diet colas.
“The bottom line is that the acidity in all soft drinks is enough to damage your teeth and should be avoided,” Dr Ross said.
The study appears in the March/April 2007 issue of General Dentistry.