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As summer temperatures rise so will people's thirst. Unfortunately, many people will grab a pop or iced tea instead of water. It isn't just cola's empty calories – about 150 per 12-ounce can – you should worry about. Many of these beverages harm enamel, the protective shell around teeth.
A pilot study of the effects some of these beverages had on enamel, appearing in the July/August 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal, found that over time, exposing dental enamel to carbonated beverages and non-carbonated canned iced tea weakens and permanently destroys enamel.
Results from the study, which exposed healthy dental enamel to a variety of popular beverages over a period of 14 days, found that non-colas and canned iced tea were especially harmful. They contain flavor additives, such as malic, tartaric and other organic acids, which are more aggressive at eroding teeth. Root beer, which contains the least amount of flavor additives, was found to be the "safest soft drink to safeguard dental enamel."
Reviewed: January 2012
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