Melbourne University's Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre released a briefing paper warning that many Australians were unaware that chemicals in artificially sweetened drinks cause tooth erosion.
Researchers found that drinks high in citric and phosphoric acids caused "measurable damage to dental enamel". The centre's director said the problem seemed to be worsening, with an estimated one-in-three children suffering from acid-caused tooth erosion.
‘Drinking water between meals and limiting soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices can help you to protect your teeth.’
Sugar damages teeth because it feeds bacteria in the mouth, which then produces acid that attacks the enamel. This tends to happen in places where bacteria gather, such as in the crevices of your molars.
"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," says Professor Eric Reynolds. He's chief executive of the University of Melbourne's Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre.
Professor Reynolds said that, while fruit and fruit drinks do contain some of the same damaging compounds as soft drinks, "we just don't see the same level of destruction" as from fruit drinks. He said this could be because people who drink soft drinks tend to drink them frequently -- more frequently than those who eat fruit or drink fruit juice consume those things.