June 30, 2009
Orange Juice Worse Than Whiteners On Teeth

Want to make your teeth last longer? University of Rochester Medical Center researchers find that tooth whitening with hydrogen peroxide does little damage to the teeth as compared to the acidity of orange juice.

Eastman Institute’s YanFang Ren, DDS, PhD, and his team determined that the effects of 6 percent hydrogen peroxide, 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 tooth 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 tooth decay 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.”

Your teeth and gums age and wear out just like the rest of your body. Think about what you drink and eat with the idea of slowing your dental aging. I've stopped using my teeth to crack open ice cubes and otherwise have become more conscious of stresses one can inflict on teeth by choice which foods one eats.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 June 30 11:40 PM  Biotech Teeth And Gums


Comments
inquire said at July 1, 2009 2:30 AM:

I guess it's good that I titrate* my OJ with my favorite Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer protein powder. I most often drink OJ as a protein smoothy with Vega and it is noticeably less bitter as the Vega itself is designed to be neutral or slightly basic in pH I believe. Anyway, I am not an employee or representative in anyway, simply a happy user for many years.

*I am no chemist either, so I hope that is used in a passable manner...

bbartlog said at July 1, 2009 7:55 AM:

And if you're looking for positive effects rather than just avoiding destructive ones, I recommend cheese. See http://jdr.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/66/10/1527.pdf . In addition to these lab results, there is evidence in the NHANES III dataset (compare frequency of cheese consumption to self-ratings of dental health - the effects are quite significant), but right now I can't seem to find the numbers I extracted...

John Steele said at July 1, 2009 11:17 AM:

"tooth whitening with hydrogen peroxide does little damage to the teeth as compared to the acidity of orange juice."

This week. If you don't like these results, wait around there will be a different result next month.

OJ bad, OJ good. Coffee bad, coffee good, coffee bad er good, er bad. Chocolate bad, chocolate good, chocolate bad er good er bad. Eggs bad, eggs good, eggs bad er good er ...

Laga said at July 1, 2009 11:43 AM:

John Steele - my thoughts exactly. Every day there is a "study" that says something is bad for us, or maybe good. Then there's the "scare" of the week, this week it's Tylenol, next week it will be Advis. Remeber the Alar!

Tamale Ranger said at July 1, 2009 11:45 AM:

*Use a straw*

*Use a straw*

*Use a straw*

Especially when drinking OJ or Coke.

You can keep the vast majority of your drink from touching your teeth in this fashion. Sadly, coke is a convenient drink for our busy world and a lot of people will not give it up. Juice is a convenient way to get nutrients we need. Avoiding them is quite tough, but you can protect your precious teeth by using a straw.

And yeah, cracking ice with your teeth is asinine.

Tamale Ranger said at July 1, 2009 11:54 AM:

John and Laga,

Science is a process... sure, it's frustrating that things that have good effects also have bad effects, and sure, it's a shame that some in the media simply tell you to avoid or pursue things based on isolated pieces of information. I don't see this blog doing that. It just tells you that OJ has a lot of teeth softening acid. Nowhere do you read 'don't drink OJ'.

Coffee has many good qualities and some bad. You can use that information and apply it to your unique situation and aims. Same for orange juice, Tylenol, and everything else studies discuss. Getting frustrated that there are two sides to each of these foods and drugs is just misunderstanding what these studies are trying to do.

Amy Alkon said at July 1, 2009 12:07 PM:

Eating or drinking sugar, whether in juice or soda, is ill-advised, as it causes the insulin reaction that causes humans to put on weight.

Sigivald said at July 1, 2009 12:34 PM:

Why don't they post the study, so we can read it and see what kind of effects real consumption of acidic drinks might have?

I don't care what the effects of, say, concentrated citric acid on a tooth soaked in it for a week are.

I can't tell if the study did anything more realistic than that, because the links don't link to the study and don't state its methodology.

Useless.

texrex said at July 1, 2009 1:13 PM:

Always follow the money. Who put up the grant money for this guy's research? Any bets that it was a company that manufactures teeth whiteners?

TTT said at July 1, 2009 2:07 PM:

Is there a significant difference between eating oranges, vs. drinking orange juice, with regards to teeth?

I would think there is.

Joel said at July 1, 2009 8:55 PM:

OK, I think I get this. If I took my teeth out and soaked them in orange juice it would be bad. The study probably says nothing about the affects of drinking orange juice, which is what most of us do with it.

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