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Trendy drinks are causing a generation of young people to experience decay and loss of tooth enamel unprecedented in modern times.
Overconsumption of sugar-laden, acidic drinks, such as boxed juice, sport drinks and soft drinks, is reversing more than 50 years of public health gains realized through preventive measures like fluoridated water and dental sealants.
From their early years into young adulthood, children are drinking increasing quantities of these sugary, acidic drinks from morning until night. They consume fruit juice at breakfast, soda at lunch and sport drinks or flavored sweet tea or coffee after school.
Constant drinking attacks the body’s natural ability to cleanse the mouth. The acid in the drinks causes dental erosion. These drinks soften the protective enamel which dissolves then exposes the second layer of tooth. The sugar in the drinks feeds bacteria in the mouth which causes decay. Bacteria have a much easier time eating through soft enamel.
Young people should enjoy the best dental health that modern prevention can offer. Unfortunately this group also has the most to lose in terms of a lifetime dental problems.
The Indiana Dental Association wants parents, educators and consumers to know which drinks can destroy teeth, and how, if these drinks will be consumed, how to do so wisely and in moderation.