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Int J Paediatr Dent. 1997 Dec;7(4):249-54.

The effect of different methods of drinking on the pH of dental plaque in vivo.

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Division of Child Dental Health, Leeds Dental Institute, University of Leeds, UK.


The effect on the pH of human dental plaque of rinsing and drinking with or without a straw was investigated in eight volunteers using the plaque sampling method. A fruit-based juice was used as the test drink with 10% sucrose and 10% sorbitol solutions serving as positive and negative controls, respectively. The maximum mean plaque pH drop (+/- SD) when a fruit juice was consumed with a straw (0.82 +/- 0.27) was significantly less (P < 0.05) as compared to when it was consumed straight from a cup without a straw (1.14 +/- 0.25) and when it was used as a rinse (1.25 +/- 0.21). Also, the minimum plaque pH reached after challenge was significantly lower (P < 0.0005) when the subjects rinsed before swallowing (5.22 +/- 0.13) as compared with drinking with a straw (5.92 +/- 0.39) or without (5.64 +/- 0.2). The area under the plaque pH curve was also found to be significantly less when a straw was used (1.81 +/- 0.71) as compared with drinking without (2.72 +/- 0.93). Drinking with a straw therefore resulted in a less pronounced pH drop and hence might reduce the demineralizing effect on the teeth of various potentially cariogenic drinks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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