“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” said Eric Reynolds, laureate professor and CEO of the oral health center, in a press release. "Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the hard tissues of the tooth. In its early stages, erosion strips away the surface layers of tooth enamel. If it progresses to an advanced stage it can expose the soft pulp inside the tooth.”
Among their key findings, the researchers determined that soft drinks and sports drinks caused dental enamel to soften by 30% to 50%, and that both sugar-free and sugary soft drinks resulted in similar amounts of significant loss of tooth surface. In addition to warning of potentially misleading "tooth-friendly" product labels, the researchers recommend checking ingredients lists for acidic additives, choosing water over soft drinks, and actually holding off for an hour after consuming these things before brushing your teeth so as not to scrub away the softened tooth layer.