Sugary Drinks Increasing Dental Erosion In Kids

Friday, March 4th, 2016, 1:50 am

Worldwide rising consumption of sugary drinks is increasing dental erosion in kids and adolescents. Most of these drinks are not only high in sugar, but are also very acidic and dentists have known for years that the combination erodes dental enamel.

New research from the University of Bergen, Norway has focused not on what is in these types of drink, but rather how they are consumed. The investigators followed the progression of dental erosion of a four year period in a group of 13 and 14 year olds. Cavities and gum health were reviewed as well. The research focused on lifestyle factors such as the method of drinking the sugary and acidic drinks, exercise, screen time, and even counted the intake of various other foods and drinks. These included ice cream, snacks, sweets, coffee, tea, yogurt, milk and cheese.

As the four years of the study progressed, dental erosion occurred on about 35% of the tooth surfaces. Boys showed more damage to their dental enamel than girls. Dental erosion occurs when acid dissolves the hard outer layer of the tooth, the enamel. This damage leaves the tooth vulnerable to decay.

The study found that consuming high amounts of sugary drinks and sour candy, and a lower intake of milk were linked to dental damage. One important note was that the habit of some to retain acidic soft drinks in the mouth before swallowing was linked to increased erosion.

Damage to the dental enamel in this age group is worrying and the researchers suggest that dentists and hygienists work to educate children and adolescents about preventing future cavities and the need for dental fillings, or even tooth loss.

Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 to schedule dental check-up appointments for your family. We can help everyone maintain a healthy, cavity free, smile.

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Category: cavities

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