Drinking acidic fruit teas might be damaging your teeth, says study Advertisement

Drinking acidic fruit teas might be damaging your teeth, says study

An investigation by scientists from King's College London has found that sipping on acidic drinks and flavoured water might be damaging your tooth enamel

By Katie O’Malley  February 28th, 2018

There’s nothing quite like the warm, soothing feeling you get from sipping a hot brew of lemon and ginger on a winter’s evening.

However, an investigation by scientists from King’s College London has found that sipping on acidic drinks such as fruit teas and flavoured water can wear away teeth and damage the enamel, reports the BBC.

The research, published in the British Dental Journal, studied the diets of 300 people with severe erosive tooth wear. The investigation found the problem of tooth erosion from acid increased as people snacked more.

green tea

The researchers claim that fruit squashes, cordials, fruit teas, diet drinks, sugared drinks and flavoured water are all acidic and can cause the break down of enamel.

Continuous sipping or holding these drinks in the mouth before swallowing can also increase the risk of tooth erosion.

Dr Saoirse O’Toole, the lead study author, from KCL’s Dental Institute, explained: ‘If you drink things for long periods of time, greater than five minutes, or if you play with things in your mouth or if you nibble on fruit over a few minutes rather than eating them as a whole fruit — these are things that can really damage your teeth.


‘If you’re going to have an apple as a snack at lunchtime, then try not to have anything acidic later on in the evening.

‘If you are going to have a glass of wine in the evening, then don’t have your fruit tea in the morning.’

The solution?

‘Just balance things in your diet,’ Dr O’Toole advised.

Surprisingly, the researchers also found that people who had drinks such as water with a slice of lemon or hot fruit-flavoured teas twice a day between eating meals were 11 times more likely to have moderate or severe tooth erosion.

However, this figure was halved when the drinks were taken with meals.


The BBC reports that Russ Ladwa, who chairs the British Dental Association’s health and science committee, said of acidic drinks: ‘Having them with a meal helps to minimise the damage because chewing meal food increases the production of saliva, which is alkaline and acts a buffer to dilute acidic foods and drinks.

‘We would promote the chilling of drinks, consuming them in one go — don’t sip over long periods — and limiting soft drinks to meal times.’

Mr Ladwa added that drinking water and milk and eating neutralising food (such as cheese) after consuming acidic foods or drinks was also beneficial.