Sugar is not the only thing you need to be concerned about when it comes to protecting your oral health. High levels in acid in everyday foods and drinks can be just as harmful, causing decay, sensitivity and discolouration.
What is tooth erosion?
When the enamel on your teeth wears away, it exposes the underlying material called dentine. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to plaque and bacteria which causes decay.
What causes tooth erosion?
Calcium is a key ingredient in building strong teeth. Unfortunately exposing your teeth to acid can remove the calcium from your enamel, causing the protective surface to break down. Acid can come from many sources including:
- Fruit Juice
- Citric fruits
- Stomach Acid
What are the signs of tooth erosion?
If left untreated acid wear can lead to more serious dental problems. It is important to attend for regular dental appointments so that any problems can be noticed early reducing the risk of more serious damage.
- Sensitivity – you may fella twinge of pain when you consume hot, cold or sweet food and drink. As more enamel is worn away, teeth will become increasingly sensitive.
- Discolouration – Teeth become increasingly yellow as the thinning enamel exposes the underlying dentine.
- Rounded teeth – teeth may become rounded or have a sand- blasted look
- Transparency – your front teeth may appear translucent around the edges
- Cracks – small cracks and roughness may appear at the edges of teeth
Top tips to avoid acid erosion
- Eat with meals
Instead of snacking throughout the day, save acidic foods for mealtimes. This will reduce their contact with your teeth and help neutralize the acid by eating it with other foods.
- Wash with water
Sip water alongside and after acidic food or drink to ensure it does not stay in contact with your teeth
- Use a straw
If you drink acidic beverages, reduce their contact with teeth but using a straw and finishing the drink quickly. Do not have acidic drinks to sip on throughout the day
- Look for low or no sugar drinks
Try to keep your sugar consumption low and consider options like water, tea and coconut water
- Wait before brushing
Acid softens your enamel so brushing immediately after eating or drinking high acid foods and drinks can actually cause further damage. Wait at least 30 minutes before you start to brush
If you are concerned you may be suffering from acid erosion, or would like to know how you can avoid acid erosion call Valley Dental Practice on 01255 220322 to book your consultation today!