Before you start thinking about ordering a vodka with lime and tonic water this Friday night, take a look at these photos.
We've all heard of tooth decay but many haven't heard of tooth erosion.
It is when acids in your diet start to dissolve away your teeth - the hardest substance in the human body. This will happen when the pH drops below 5.5. At least 30 per cent of people are affected to some extent.
The image uploaded by a dentist from Sydney Holistic Dental Centre showcases the outer surface of a tooth (the enamel) when exposed to still drinking water. The pH is around 7. It is zoomed in 7000x. Note the smooth, intact surface.
The second image is the surface of the enamel after being exposed to a sugar free vodka mixer. It has a pH of 3.2.
Note the holes which makes it look like Swiss cheese.
And the final shot is the enamel after exposure to gin and tonic, which has a pH of 2.2.
The take home message is you only get one set of adult teeth. If these drinks can dissolve the hardest part of your body it's scary to think what they would be doing elsewhere.
We recommend avoiding carbonated and sweetened drinks where possible, but if you are going to drink them there are a few rules you should stick to:
- drink them through a (biodegradable) straw and have a glass of water afterwards
- Wait at least 30 mins before brushing your teeth
- have some healthy food around to help stimulate saliva