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Acidic fruit juices are more dangerous to the hardness and smoothness of tooth enamel than the agents present in most over-the-counter and professional whitening agents, according to researchers at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
"The acid is so strong that the tooth is literally washed away," said YanFang Ren, lead researcher on the study. "The orange juice decreased enamel hardness by 84 percent." No significant change in hardness or surface enamel was found from 6 percent hydrogen peroxide, the usual ingredient used in whitening.
Ren advises that the longer teeth are in contact with the acid, the more damage that occurs, and so someone sipping an acidic drink over a long period of time is at greater risk than someone who drinks their drink quickly.
The ADA recommends reducing the amount of acidic food and drink consumed in order to prevent erosion of the enamel. Proper dental hygiene and regular visits for a dental checkup with a dentist for fluoride treatments if someone is at risk is also recommended.
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