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Bum Dental Rap For Cola?

Cola may be a relatively innocent victim of its reputation. A recent study shows that other sodas, sports drinks and even lemonade appear to have a more corrosive effect on tooth enamel.

But, dental experts agree, that's no reason to ditch the drinks you love.

The study, published in the Journal of The Academy of General Dentistry, showed other drinks are 6 to 11 times more corrosive than cola.

In order, with the most corrosive first, they are: lemonade, energy drinks, sports drinks, fitness water, and commercial iced teas. Cola "brings up the rear" on this list.

What makes these drinks so corrosive to teeth?

New York City cosmetic dentist Dr. Nancy Rosen explains to The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith that most cola-based drinks contain one or more acids, such as citric and phosphoric acids. The sports beverages contain not only citric and phosphoric acids, but also other additives and organic acids. The acids are put in to give the drinks a longer shelf life and to give them their tangy tastes.

But acids cause dental enamel erosion, meaning they eat away at the hard, protective coating of teeth, which can then break, be brittle, chipped or translucent at the edges, and lose their color and shine. That can give you an unattractive smile, and cause sensitivity and pain.