Most fruit drinks, juices, fruit-flavor waters, energy drinks like Gatorade, and DIET sodas also contain a huge amount of sugar and/or ACID which is very harmful to your teeth. Many of these drinks are a Double Whammy for teeth in that they cause acid erosion AND provide sugar for bacteria that live on teeth to feed on. Those bacteria release even MORE acid which can quickly destroy the protective enamel of teeth.
But perhaps some of the WORST drinks for your teeth might be some of the newcomers to the market-the high octane energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Full Throttle, etc. My personal favorite is KickStart from Mountain Dew (Orange Juice and Mountain Dew mixed together, for BREAKFAST? Seriously?) The sugar and acid content of these drinks may be up to 4 OR 5 TIMES that of a traditional soda.
What's more, many people who consume these drinks tend to drink MULTIPLE drinks throughout the day, and tend to sip on them over a long period of time while playing video games or watching TV. This gets to the heart of one of the biggest issues with sugary drinks; its not necessarily just the AMOUNT of sugar IN the drink; but the frequency and length of time that one takes takes to drink one of these beverages.
This brings up another drink which we don't often think of as being bad for teeth (except for staining)-Coffee. Most notably, the large flavored coffees from Starbucks, etc that have highly concentrated syrups in them. We tend to sip on these very slowly which bathes our teeth with sugar and provides a high frequency sucrose attack. The same goes for Sweet Tea (NOOOOOO! -say all us southerners!).
So just a few final things about sugar in relation to your teeth:
-It's not just WHAT you drink or eat, but HOW OFTEN and HOW MUCH you consume. We dentists are not totally against sodas, I have one myself all the time. We just recommend you have a soda or candy and be done with it, don't slowly drink or eat it over a long period of time
-Be aware that many fruit drinks and energy drinks have a VERY high level of sugar. A good website for reference on sugar content is sugarstacks.com.
-Avoid sugary syrups and/or sweeteners in coffee and tea
Pretty Much Everything Else=Bad (Even milk has lactose-a form of sugar)
-Talk to your dental professional for more specific information, or for information specific for your situation.
Gregory A. Clepper, DMD