Juice Vs. Whiteners: Which Is Worse For Your Smile?

We recently told you about the measurable but minimal enamel-weakening potential of tooth-whitening treatments that contain hydrogen peroxide. However, it pales in comparison to the daily damage done by your breakfast beverage.

According to a new University of Rochester study, orange juice causes much more harm to our enamel than even the strongest peroxide-based whitening treatments. Using a new kind of microscope, researchers saw an 84% decrease in hardness and a significant increase in surface roughness in teeth exposed to orange juice. The lead researcher, Dr. YanFang Ren, even went so far as to say "the tooth is literally washed away."

This is the first time peroxide's erosion potential has been compared to acidic beverages; and while the results may be a relief to those who whiten, it's a wake-up call for fans of fruit juice and soft drinks.

“It's potentially a very serious problem for people who drink sodas and fruit juices daily,” Dr. Ren warned in the Journal of Dentistry. “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.”

Whether you whiten or drink lots of acidic beverages-and especially if you do both-it's important maintain proper hygiene, including the use of fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. You may also want to ask your dentist about yearly fluoride treatments to ensure extra protection.