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Parents who are concerned about their children's dental health may be limiting their exposure to soft drinks to protect their teeth from acids.
However, a study published in the March/April 2007 issue of General Dentistry suggests one particular option that does not contain these harmful acids: root beer.
Because root beer is non-carbonated, it could be less damaging to dental health than similar drinks. However, the Academy of General Dentistry warns parents not to assume that diet sodas are as safe for kids' teeth.
Diet soft drinks contain phosphoric acid or citric acid, which - while less risky than their sugary counterparts - also contribute to dental erosion.
Dental erosion involves the loss of tooth structure due to acids. It begins in the enamel, but if left unchecked may move on to affect the dentin.
In general, citrus-flavored sodas do more harm than cola-flavored beverages, while root beers do less harm than both of these other options. However, some dentists say all sodas should be avoided.
"Drinking any type of soft drink poses risks to the health of your teeth," explained AGD spokesperson Dr. Kenton Ross.
© 2008 Brafton Inc.
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