For teeth, orange juice worse than whitening agents

July 1st, 2009 - 1:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 1 (IANS) When it comes to dental health, an acidic fruit juice like orange is even worse than teeth whitening agents, warns a recent study.
University of Rochester Medical Centre’s YanFang Ren and his team determined that the effects of six percent hydrogen peroxide, the common ingredient in over-the-counter whitening products, are insignificant compared to acidic fruit juices.

For the first time, researchers were able to see extensive surface detail thanks to a new focus-variation vertical scanning microscope.

“The acid is so strong that the tooth is literally washed away,” said Ren. “The orange juice decreased enamel hardness by 84 percent.”

In contrast, no significant change in hardness or surface enamel was found from whitening.

Weakened and eroded enamel may speed up the wear of the tooth and increase the risk of tooth decay.

“Most soft drinks, including sodas and fruit juices, are acidic in nature,” Ren said. “Our studies demonstrated that orange juice, as an example, can potentially cause significant erosion of teeth.”

It’s long been known that juice and sodas have a high acidic content, and can negatively affect dental enamel hardness, said a Rochester release.

“This study allowed us to understand the effect of whitening on enamel relative to the effect of a daily dietary activity, such as drinking juices,” he added.

The longer teeth are in contact with the acidic drinks, the more severe the erosion will be. People who sip their drinks slowly over 20 minutes are more likely to have tooth erosion than those who finish a drink quickly.

These findings were recently published in the Journal of Dentistry.

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