Think you’re doing the right thing for your teeth? Think again!

For years now dentists have been telling us sugar is bad for our teeth and, in response, many of us

For years now dentists have been telling us sugar is bad for our teeth and, in response, many of us have diligently switched what we eat and drink. But now they’re telling us that the chocies we’ve made are just as bad.

Scientists at the Oral Health Co-operative Research Centre at the University of Melbourne have found that acids in sugar-free drinks, lollies and other “sugar-free” treats are attacking our teeth just as aggressively as sugar.

They found that drinks high in citric and phosphoric acids caused “measurable damage to dental enamel”.

“Many people are not aware that while reducing your sugar intake does reduce your risk of dental decay, the chemical mix of acids in some foods and drinks can cause the equally damaging condition of dental erosion,” said CEO of the centre, Eric Reynolds.

Sugar damages teeth because it feeds bacteria in the mouth, which then produces acid that attacks the enamel. This tends to happen in places where bacteria gather, such as in the crevices of your molars.

When drinking acidic drinks you are bathing your mouth in acid, resulting in erosion of the enamel across the whole tooth, which leaves it susceptible to bacteria.

“We have tended to focus on sugar,” Professor Reynolds said. “The food industry has adapted to that by making sugar free variants, but I’m just not convinced that those sugar free variants are good for you. They’re certainly not good for your teeth.”

He suggets drinking water between meals and limiting soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juices to protect your teeth.

Do you drink sugar-free drinks or lollies thinking they are a better option for your teeth?



  1. It’s very rare these days for me to drink soft drinks, I mostly drink water and if I need something a little different I usually drink natural mineral water with a half of lime juice added to it, that said I do enjoy my glass or 2 of Champagne at our happy hour on Friday night.

  2. Never been one to read much into so called expert advice. Certainly wont be changing any thing as a result of this advice re my teeth. Brush twice a day and eat whatever; same as I have for 63 years.

    • Susan Bell  

      Why do you use the term “so called”? You have studied dentistry? You understand the mechanism of decay? You understand the effects of acids on teeth? You understand the buffering effect of saliva? You understand periodontal disease? It is the height of arrogance and ignorance to ignore expert advice that has been investigated, tested and peer reviewed.
      To keep your teeth, keep your mouth moist, avoid acids, clean with a small soft brush and floss every day.

  3. Way back we were told that an apple cleans ure teeth after lunch……dentist recently told me I was cleaning my teeth too often as my ageing gums are quite receeded….I have eased off with no wrath from my mother!!!

  4. I know I’m doing the right thing for my teethe — soak them each night in polident.

  5. Exaggeration. I would like to see the original research before accepting this alarmist nonsense. I changed to sugar-free soft drinks 13 years ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I had lost some teeth prior to that from periodontal disease but have kept most of them since. Neither my dentist nor my periodontist has seen any further damage from those non-sugar soft drinks. I refuse to go through life drinking nothing but water.

  6. I don’t have many sweet things. So when I do I like to have the real thing. Again the old saying – everything in moderation.

  7. Never been a soft drink consumer, very rarely a fruit juice either. Mainly Drink water, tea and coffee when out!.

  8. I floss every time I have a meal or a snack rinse my mouth out if I have anything sweet or acid….I cannot stand dirty teeth…my teeth are still decaying and costing me a fortune…

  9. Rosemary Nicol  

    I was told by my dentist that if I was going to drink soft drink to drink it with a straw because that way most of the soft drink will go straight down your throat and hopefully bypass your teeth.

  10. Whatever we do we are told we are wrong. I’ll just make my own mind up what to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *