If you think switching to sugar-free sodas and sports drinks is protecting your teeth, think again.

When Australian researchers tested 23 sugar-free and sugar-containing soft drinks and sports drinks on extracted molars, they found that most of both kinds of drinks—those without sugar and those that had it—softened tooth enamel by up to 50%.

The problem: It’s not the sugar that’s the only problem. Acidic flavorings dissolve tooth enamel. Flavored mineral waters and sugar-free candies with citric acid or phosphoric acid in the ingredients list are just as bad.

Bottom line: Sugar-free doesn’t necessarily translate to safe for your teeth.

Protect your pearly whites: When you drink anything that’s acidic, rinse your mouth with water afterward and wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth. That gives your enamel a chance to re-harden so you don’t brush it away.