Can a tooth left in cola overnight dissolve? © Getty Images

Can a tooth left in cola overnight dissolve?

Like many other acidic drinks, cola seems well suited to dissolving teeth, but is this just an urban myth?

Asked by: Fergus Collins, by email

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With its sugar, carbonic and phosphoric acids, cola would seem well able to dissolve teeth. But so can many acidic drinks, including orange juice: there’s nothing especially nasty about cola. The idea that it can destroy teeth literally overnight appears to be an urban myth with its origins in misquoted statements made by a Cornell University professor in 1950.


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