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Laboratory studies of the dental properties of soft drinks

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 March 2007

T. H. Grenby
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy's Hospital, London SEI 9RT
A. Phillips
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy's Hospital, London SEI 9RT
T. Desai
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy's Hospital, London SEI 9RT
M. Mistry
Department of Oral Medicine and Pathology, United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy's Hospital, London SEI 9RT
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The composition and dental properties of eight different soft drinks, representing some of the most popular types used in the UK, were examined. Demineralization experiments were conducted on hydroxylapatite, the basic component of dental enamel, determining calcium dissolving by atomic absorption spectroscopy and phosphorus by u.v. visual spectrophotometry. The titratable acid content of the drinks was found to give a better guide than their pH to their potential dental erosiveness. The sugar content, in their ready-to-drink form, varied from zero in a low-calorie product up to almost 14 % in a blackcurrant drink, but using a technique with a relatively long contact time, and in the absence of intact dental plaque, the demineralizing action on hydroxylapatite of the acids already in the drinks eclipsed the effects of the acid generated by oral micro-organisms from the sugars in the drinks. The pure citrus juices showed potentially the worst dental properties, followed by the orange and blackcurrant concentrates after dilution to their ready-to-drink form, with least demineralization from the carbonated drinks, and a cola drink giving especially low values.

Diets and Disease
Copyright © The Nutrition Society 1989



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