The bitter truth about sugar-free drinks

Cans of soft drink. Cooling frozen and with water drops

As more people make the switch to sugar-free drinks, dentists are warning they're not as healthy as we might think.

While they may not contain sugar, they're still damaging to teeth.

Low and no-drinks now make up 30 percent of the fizzy drinks sold, but Dr Rob Beaglehole from the Dental Association says the beverages may be free of calories, but not of consequences.

"The fizzy drinks, whether they've got sugar or not, are extremely addictive," he says. 

He says he has also seen patients whose teeth have been dissolved by the drinks.

Dr Beaglehole says it's the phosphoric acid, listed as ingredient 338, which erodes enamel on the teeth.

"Once your teeth are eroded they're a lot more likely to get tooth decay as well."

The drinks industry says treat foods are "intended to be consumed in moderation" and they "agree with and support those who remind us all that good dental hygiene is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle".

All the country's district health boards banned sugary fizzy drinks from hospitals earlier this year, now the Dental Association wants to see them remove sugar-free fizzy drinks and juices too.

Watch the video for the full 3 News report.