6 August 2014

Media Statement

Australian beverages industry questions latest dental research

The Australian Beverages Council has responded to research by the University of Adelaide published in the Journal of Dentistry, questioning the relevance of assessing the effects of acidic substances on tooth enamel over periods of 30 seconds, 60 seconds and 120 seconds, given beverages are swallowed immediately and rarely held in the mouth for longer than a couple of seconds.

It also important to point out that the research involved only two small research groups of 10 and 9 individuals.

The industry is also highlighting the importance of good dental hygiene, including regular brushing and drinking water after consuming sweet and acidic food and beverages.

The industry says that any food or beverage that contains fermentable carbohydrates (sugars and some starches) can play a role in the development of tooth decay but eating a varied diet, and practising proper dental hygiene, can reduce the risk of tooth decay developing.

Dietary sources of fermentable carbohydrates include: bread, cereals, fruit juices, dried fruit, confectionary, biscuits, pastry, crisps and snack food.  As many healthy foods contain carbohydrates, it is important to have smart eating habits so that teeth stay healthy[i].

“Poor oral health is often the result of a range of factors and eating a balanced diet is critical to overall health and wellness,” the Council’s CEO Geoff Parker said.

“No one single food product or beverage is the sole contributor to health or dental problems.  Like all other food and drink, soft drinks should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

“Consumers have more beverage choices than ever before.  There is now a large range of non-alcoholic drinks available that do not contain fermentable carbohydrates and do not increase the risk if dental caries.  This includes bottled water and no and low-kilojoule soft drinks.”

“Recent research actually shows sugar consumed within soft drinks is on the decline, with nearly one in two drinks consumed now non-sugar varieties, compared to 30 per cent in 1997.

The beverages industry has also highlighted the role of regular brushing, flossing and appropriate dental hygiene practices in strengthening enamel and removing bacteria from the mouth.

For more information, please contact:  Megan Magill, 0438 777 303


[1] http://daa.asn.au/for-the-public/smart-eating-for-you/nutrition-a-zhealth/


Levy G.S., Shrapnel W.S. (2014) Quenching Australia’s thirst: a trend analysis of water-based beverage sales from 1997 to 2011. Nutrition & Dietetics. doi: 10.1111/1747-0080.12108