We’re not sure why the media release on a study published this past summer has just recently been distributed, but better late than never, we guess.
The study looked at the effects of different beverages on tooth enamel, and was published in General Dentistry, the journal of the Academy of General Dentistry. While it’s been well-known for some time that sodas and energy and sports drinks cause significant tooth erosion, comparative studies have been lacking.
For this study,
Mohamed A. Bassiouny, DMD, BDS, MSc, PhD, the lead author of the study, compared green and black tea to soda and orange juice in terms of their short- and long-term erosive effect on human teeth. The study found that the erosive effect of tea was similar to that of water, which has no erosive effect. And, when comparing green versus black, he discovered that there is a better option among those as well.
Dr. Bassiouny says that “When we look at tea and read about the benefits, it’s amazing — not because green tea is ‘the in thing’ — but because there are advantages.” He adds that much research done overseas, in countries such as Japan and Europe, found that green tea was identified to being superior over black due to its natural flavonoids (plant nutrients) and antioxidants.
But, if you do drink tea, experts suggest avoiding additives such as milk, lemon, or sugar because they combine with tea’s natural flavonoids and decrease the benefits. In addition, stay away from prepackaged iced teas because they contain citric acid and high amounts of sugars. It does not matter whether the tea is warm or cold — as long as it is home brewed without additives.
For more on the effects of soda and other acidic and sugary drinks on teeth, see this and this and this. And be sure to check out the pictures on that last site. Or you could just watch this video to see plenty of examples of what eroded, decayed and demineralized teeth look like…