Tooth erosion, or “Acid erosion” is the loss of tooth enamel caused by “acid attack”. Tooth enamel is the outer hard layer protecting your teeth, but it is prone to wear and tear. A consequence of the loss of this protective layer, is the underlying “dentine” can be come exposed and cause sensitivity.
The most common cause of this is by exposure to food and drink acids, such as those in wine, fruit juice, fizzy drinks and sugary foods.
Unfortunately once this tooth enamel is lost, your body can’t restore it, which is why it is vitally important to take good care of your teeth.
You can take the following simple steps to help avoid and prevent tooth erosion:
Make water your go-to drink
Water is always the best and obvious choice. If you do have a fizzy or fruit juice, then use a reusable straw. This will help keep the acidic fluid away from your teeth, so make sure you don’t swill the liquid around, or hold it in your mouth before swallowing.
Take a break
If you’ve been to a celebration where you’ve been consuming alcohol, carbonated drinks and nibbles, chances are your teeth may have been under an “acid attack” over a number of hours, which softens the enamel on your teeth. Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking anything acidic – wait as least 30 mins, and it’s important to always use a soft bristled toothbrush.
Remember when brushing your teeth to avoid aggressively brushing them in an attempt to clean them “properly”. Allowing 2 minutes and using a proper technique, will enable you to clean your teeth and mouth thoroughly, both morning and night. And just as important, don’t forget to floss!
Watch what you eat
Of course sugary foods, junk food and carbonated drinks are unhealthy and contribute to acid erosion, but other food and drink such as sports drinks, orange juice, grape juice, grapefruits, limes, pineapples and oranges are also highly acidic.
If you are at a function drinking alcohol or fruit juices, try alternating with a glass of water to help neutralise the acid. Your teeth and your head will thank you for it.
Avoid snacking throughout the day - If you are going to have something sweet or acidic, have it as part of a meal rather than on its own.
After eating, try chewing a piece of ‘sugar free’ gum, this will help stimulate saliva and also help neutralise the acid.
Schedule your regular visits to the Dentist
When you have your regular recommended 6mthly check up and clean appointments, we can identify and monitor any issues you may have, often at their early stages (such as tooth brush abrasion), helping to address the causes and offer advice on oral hygiene techniques, dietary habits and products you can use to help protect your teeth.
Give us a call Today, or book online to schedule your next visit!
The Dental 4U Team