Sodas and pop - both the sugary and the diet versions - are the major cause of tooth erosion in British teenagers but many parents are not aware of the problem, researchers said last week. These drinks wear away the enamel protective coating on teeth. Dental erosion weakens teeth and can cause thinning or chipping of the tooth edges.
Drinking fizzy drinks only once a day was found to significantly increase a child's chances of suffering dental erosion, the researchers noted.
Drinking four or more glasses of fizzy drinks a day raises a 12-year-old's chances of suffering from tooth erosion by 252%. Heavy consumption in 14-year-olds increased the risk to 513%, according to research published in The British Dental Journal.
Unlike tooth decay, which results from high levels of sugar, erosion is caused by acidic substances in the drinks, meaning that even diet versions are harmful. Drinking milk and water, instead, reduces the risk.
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