Monday, 12 March 2012

Acid erosion - are you at risk?

The damage to teeth caused by drinking too much fruit juice or fizzy drinks is well known but did you know that brushing your teeth straight afterwards can actually increase the damage?
Drinking highly acidic drinks such as fruit juices and carbonated ('fizzy') drinks can cause a condition called acid erosion.  This is where the tooth structure is dissolved by the citric & phosphoric acids in the drink.  The condition is irreversible and can lead to pain, sensitivity and, ultimately, loss of teeth.

One obvious strategy that can help avoid acid erosion is to minimise the consumption of acidic drinks and, if these are consumed, drinking through a straw can help.

If you have drunk fruit juice or carbonated drinks, then do not brush your teeth straight away.  The acids in the drink soften the tooth enamel and brushing while the enamel is softened can increase the rate of loss of tooth structure.  Instead, rinse your mouth with water or milk and leave a period of at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

If you suspect that you have acid erosion, then you should see a dentist immediately.  At AllClear, we have a team of dentists & hygienists who are able to advise you on all aspects of oral care - call in, phone or see our website - for more details.


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  2. When tooth enamel is exposed to acids, it temporarily softens and loses some of its mineral content. Saliva will help neutralize acidity, restore the mouth's natural balance and slowly harden the tooth enamel. However, because the tooth's recovery process is slow, if the acid attack happens frequently, the tooth enamel does not have the chance to repair.
    Some fruit juices, wine and various fruits can be acidic and therefore potentially damaging to teeth. Acidic foods should not and cannot easily be avoided, but care needs to be taken as to how they are consumed.