OJ worse for teeth than whitening, researchers say

June 30, 2009

With the increasing popularity of whitening one's teeth, researchers at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center, set out to learn if there are negative effects on the tooth from using whitening products.

Eastman Institute's YanFang Ren, DDS, PhD, and his team determined that the effects of 6 percent , the common ingredient in professional and over-the-counter whitening products, are insignificant compared to acidic fruit juices. Orange juice markedly decreased hardness and increased roughness of enamel.

Unlike ever before, researchers were able to see extensive surface detail thanks to a new focus-variation vertical scanning microscope. "The acid is so strong that the tooth is literally washed away," said Ren, whose findings were recently published in Journal of Dentistry. "The orange juice decreased enamel hardness by 84 percent." No significant change in hardness or surface enamel was found from whitening.

Weakened and eroded enamel may speed up the wear of the tooth and increase the risk for to quickly develop and spread. "Most soft drinks, including sodas and fruit juices, are acidic in nature," Ren said. "Our studies demonstrated that the orange juice, as an example, can potentially cause significant erosion of teeth."

It's long been known that juice and sodas have high acid content, and can negatively affect enamel hardness. "There are also some studies that showed whitening can affect the hardness of dental enamel, but until now, nobody had compared the two," Ren explained. "This study allowed us to understand the effect of whitening on enamel relative to the effect of a daily dietary activity, such as drinking juices.

"It's potentially a very serious problem for people who drink sodas and fruit juices daily," said Ren, who added that dental researchers nationwide are increasingly studying tooth erosion, and are investing significant resources into possible preventions and treatments. "We do not yet have an effective tool to avert the erosive effects, although there are early indications that higher levels of fluoride may help slow down the erosion."

A Texas-based company, Beyond Dental and Health, sponsored the trial in part by providing the 6 percent hydrogen peroxide.

In the meantime, Ren advises that consumers be aware of the acidic nature of beverages, including sodas, fruit juices, sports and energy drinks. The longer teeth are in contact with the acidic drinks, the more severe the erosion will be. People who sip their drinks slowly over 20 minutes are more likely to have tooth erosion than those who finish a drink quickly. It's also very important to keep good oral hygiene practices, Ren added, by brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and see a dentist for a fluoride treatment at least once a year if you are at risk.

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center (news : web)

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1 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2009
I wonder who paid for the research ?

Three guesses, and the first 2 don't count.
5 / 5 (1) Jun 30, 2009
... the tooth whitening companies?
not rated yet Jun 30, 2009
I paid my way threw collage working in restaurants and I can attest to the fact that coke will eat up almost any thing. It even would eat up the concrete under the dumpsters and eat up the dumpsters as well. OJ was no better it would eat up stainless steel containers and plastic ones also. One place used it to marinade chicken and it would eat threw the seals on the marinade machine. Chicken is really acidic also it would eat the stainless steel grates on the broilers.
not rated yet Jul 01, 2009
Actually, other than the company mentioned in the article, Eastman Institute for Oral Health paid for the study. Our patients had inquired about the possible damage, so Dr. Ren established the study to compare the two.
not rated yet Jul 01, 2009
What acid in O.J.? Vitamin C?! (Otherwise, if hat was the commercial O.J. with perhaps food additives, neglect the rest of this post.)

If fruits were necessarily the culprit, how would we keep teeth and not have scurvy?

Furthermore, presumably, O.J. is less problematic than chewing full fruit, because we might think a type of mouth acrobacy for sending the liquid to throat, without touchig the teeth, while for a fruit, we need the chewing (thus, the teeth contact). :-))

On other thought, I know that people (presumably, dentists) warn that, after having consumed acidic food, we need to refrain from brushing our teeth, until half an hour (or, twenty minutes?).

Think consuming your fruits before other food. [Half an hour ago.] Then, by the time you sit with forks & starch stuff, the teeth are ready for brushing. (But if the food is also acidic, ten again, postpone the brushing.)

In other words,

Is what they report, with brushing? Or, merely O.J. was sufficient to make that dent (without brushing)? In the mere-O.J. case (& given that they might have consumed lots of O.J. throughout their life times, unless the subjects were new out of milking), that level of (reportably-visible) effect, is some type of alarming trouble, I presume.

With extrapolating from the results, how much O.J. would that take to become toothless?
4 / 5 (1) Jul 21, 2009
Vitamin c? Have you not heard of citric acid? Vitamin C is ascorbic acid. It is the overall acidity that causes dental erosion.

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