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Soft drinks are hard on the teeth

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The square off: Six solutions--five soft drinks and a 99-cent drain cleaner--loom large over their potential victims in the race to decay (Howard Swains/CNS)


The six teeth--otherwise to be discarded from a dental office in Harlem, N.Y.--await their sugary fates (Howard Swains/CNS)


The teeth are finally submerged in their corrosive baths. From left to right: Nesquik, Snapple, drain cleaner (Howard Swains/CNS)


After two weeks, mold had developed on the top of the Nesquik, orange juice and iced tea samples. The teeth submerged in the solutions did not look much more healthy. Clockwise, from back left: drain cleaner, orange juice, Nesquik, Gatorade, Snapple, Coca-Cola (Howard Swains/CNS)


Their punishment over, the teeth pose for the end of experiment photograph. Clockwise, from back left: Tropicana orange juice, chocolate Nesquik, drain cleaner, Gatorade fruit punch, Snapple iced tea, Coca-Cola. Note the tooth left in drain cleaner has split into two parts (Howard Swains/CNS)

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A homemade experiment demonstrates the damage soft drinks can do to teeth. By Howard Swains.