Objective: To evaluate the enamel erosive potential of modified acidic soft drinks under controlled conditions in an artificial mouth.
Materials and methods: From each of 144 bovine incisors one enamel sample was prepared. Labial surfaces of the samples were ground flat, polished and covered with adhesive tape, leaving an exposed area. The samples were distributed among four (A-D) groups for treatment with A: Coca-Cola, B: Sprite; C: Sprite light, D: orange juice. Either 1.0 mmol l(-1) calcium (Ca) or a combination (comb.) of 0.5 mmol l(-1) calcium plus 0.5 mmol l(-1) phosphate plus 0.031 mmol l(-1) fluoride was added to the beverages. Samples of each group were subdivided into three subgroups (-original; -Ca and -comb.) for treatment with original and modified drinks. De- and remineralization cycles were based on a standard protocol described earlier. Surface loss of the specimens was determined using profilometry after test procedure.
Results: In all subgroups, loss of enamel was observed. The enamel loss recorded for the samples rinsed with original Sprite and original orange juice was significantly higher compared with all other solutions (P = 0.001). Lowest enamel loss was recorded for the original Coca-Cola group (P = 0.001). With the exception of Coca-Cola, demineralization with the modified beverages led to significantly lower losses compared with the respective original solutions.
Conclusion: Modification of the test soft drinks with low concentrations of calcium or a combination of calcium, phosphate and fluoride may exert a significant protective potential with respect to dental erosion.