If I asked 100 people which drinks were most harmful to their smiles, I bet I’d get back about 50 people who said, “coffee” and 40 people who said, “cola” and about 10 split between black tea or orange juice.
And you know what?
All of them would be wrong.
Here’s the list, from most to least harmful, according to research by von Fraunhofer, et al in a German industry journal (AGD Dentalnotes, Spring 2005):
- KMX energy drink
- Snapple Classic Lemonade
- Red Bull
- Amp energy drink
- Nantucket Nectars
- Propel Fitness Water
- Fanta Orange
- Nestea with sweetened lemon iced tea
- Arizona iced tea
- Black tea
These are ranked based on the amount of tooth enamel destroyed after 14 days of continuous exposure.
I guess I’m not surprised that some of the new energy drinks are the most toxic. But lemonade? Iced tea? And I didn’t expect water to be there, especially “fitness” water. And cola is way down on the list, despite its urban-legend status as the liquid that can loosen a rusted bolt (which happens to be true) dissolve a nail (this one is false) or shine a chrome bumper (true).
As usual, your grandmother’s advice to stick to plain, ol’ fashioned water is probably best. If your kids drink this stuff, either persuade them otherwise or send them to me for frequent checkups!