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Soft drinks hard on teeth

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STUDY Why it’s wise to avoid sugary soft drinks

Soft drinks could be hard on your teeth, and cause dental decay, say researchers who looked at the consumption of sugary beverages and fluoridated water.

“There is growing scrutiny of sweet drinks, especially soft drinks, because of a range of detrimental health effects on adults and children,” says Jason Armfield from the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health, University of Adelaide’s School of Dentistry, who led the study, involving 16,800 children.“Tooth decay carries with it significant physical, social and health implications, and we believe the risk of tooth decay should be included in any warnings relating to sweet drinks,” the American Journal of Public Health , quoting Armfield, reported.

“Consistent evidence has shown that the high acidity of many sweetened drinks, particularly soft drinks and sports drinks, can be a factor in dental erosion, as well as the sugar itself contributing to tooth decay,” says Armfield, according to an Adelaide statement.

“Our study also showed that greater exposure to fluoridated water significantly reduces the association between children’s sweet drink consumption and tooth decay. This reconfirms the benefits of community water fluoridation for oral health.

“Essentially, we need to ensure that children are exposed less to sweet drinks and have greater access to fluoridated water, which will result in significantly improved dental outcomes for children,” adds Armfield.

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