A new study published in the Journal of Dentistry shows that in fact orange juice causes more damage to the tooth enamel than the hydrogen peroxide found in teeth whitening products.
Many people shy away from using teeth whitening products because of the fear of the damage which might be caused. Researchers used a new focus-variation vertical scanning microscope that allowed them to see surface irregularities on the enamel in minute detail. They reported that the acid in orange juice decreased enamel hardness by a massive 84 percent.
The damage caused by the acid in fruit juice is slow and gradual. In countries such as Morocco, many locals suffer from damaged teeth perhaps partly down to their love of drinking several fruit juice drinks a day. Over time the enamel is weakened and broken down, allowing bacteria to enter the teeth, causing tooth decay.
What is reassuring to know is that teeth whitening products cause less damage than fruit juices, and we would only use teeth whitening products once every several months at most. This means that the damage done would be negligible – less than drinking one fruit juice drink every several months.
One of the researchers commented that „We do not yet have an effective tool to avert the erosive effects, although there are early indications that higher levels of fluoride may help slow down the erosion.“ So, brushing with fluoride based toothpastes and visiting a dentist for a fluoride treatment about once a year should help.
If you do drink a lot of fruit juice, then there are several precautions that you can make to minimize damage. Drinking the juice quickly will reduce the contact of the juice with your teeth’s enamel, as will rinsing your mouth with water afterwards.