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J Dent. 2006 Mar;34(3):207-13. Epub 2005 Aug 19.

The relationship between enamel softening and erosion caused by soft drinks at a range of temperatures.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Dental Science, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS1 2LY, UK.



Investigations of the erosive potential of soft drinks are usually performed at room or body temperature, but drinks are more frequently served chilled, with ice, or hot. Since the rate of chemical reactions usually increases with temperature, it is predicted that erosion is more severe at high temperatures and reduced at low temperatures. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between enamel softening, enamel erosion, and temperature.


Atomic force microscopy nanoindentation and non-contact optical profilometry were used to assess changes in enamel nanomechanical properties after 5 min and erosive material loss after 30 min exposure to two different non-carbonated soft drinks at 4, 25, 50 and 75 degrees C.


For one drink (Robinson's Original Juice Drink), there was a statistically significant difference between nanomechanical properties and erosion depth at all temperatures, with softening and erosion increasing with temperature. For another drink (Ribena ToothKind Juice Drink), there was a slight softening and virtually no material loss, and temperature had no statistically significant impact on erosion. There was a good linear correlation (R2 = 0.94) between nanomechanical properties and material loss.


The difference between the drinks can be explained by their composition. For the erosive drink, material loss increased, and nanohardness decreased, approximately linearly with temperature. The correlation between softening and erosion demonstrated that nanomechanical properties after very short erosion times can be considered a good predictor of bulk material loss after considerably longer erosion times.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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