Last month research published in the British Dental Journal hit the news as it suggested that acidic drinks such as fruit tea increase the risk of suffering from tooth erosion. The study, which was conducted by researchers at King’s College London focused on the diets of 300 participants who had suffered severe tooth erosion. It found that a range of acidic drinks can contribute to damage – others included flavoured water, squash, alcohol, diet drinks and sweetened drinks. It also identified pickled products and vinegars as other potential causes of erosion.
However, the research also suggested that it wasn’t just the drink or food that was problematic, it was at what time it was consumed that was causing problems. When items are snacked on in between meals, or continuously sipped, as fruit tea often is, then this is when damage is likely to occur. Indeed the lead author of the paper, Dr Saorise O’Toole stated: “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 are going to have a glass of wine in the evening, then don’t have your fruit tea in the morning.” This suggests that timing as well as balance is key in reducing the risk of tooth erosion occurring from drinking acidic products.
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