The festive season is just around the corner and with all the upcoming Christmas parties and glorious food ahead it could take a toll on your oral health. However, there is no need to fear, you can still enjoy holiday treats and keep your smile happy and healthy with our advice on acid erosion.
What is acid erosion?
Knowledge is key to good oral health. Understanding what effects foods can have on your teeth and how to prevent damage means you can maintain a healthy smile. Acid erosion is caused by high acidity foods and drinks. Acids weaken the hard coating that protects our teeth (tooth enamel) leaving teeth exposed to damage. Our body has a natural defence in the form of saliva to neutralise acidity, however, too much exposure to acidic foods and drinks will result in enamel erosion.
What food and drinks cause acid erosion?
Carbonic, citric and phosphoric acids are the most common acids found in food and drink that can cause acid erosion. From fizzy drinks, fruit juices and wine, to citrus fruits and sweets – all have high acidity levels; however, many have health benefits (minus the fizzy drinks and sugary sweet of course).
Produce such as berries and tomatoes that have high acid levels are great when eaten as part of a balanced diet. We suggest enjoying them when eating a main meal and avoid snacking on them throughout the day.
When it comes to drinks, there are so many beverages available with high acidity levels it can be hard to choose the best option, especially around Christmas time. Water is the healthiest option and milk is perfect for neutralising acids in our mouths, however, enjoying an acidic drink in moderation during mealtimes means you can limit your exposure to acid wear. So, the good news is you can still enjoy your favourite fizzy drink or beer after a long week of work, and of course while celebrating this festive season!
More top tips to avoid acid erosion
- Brushing your teeth after you have consumed high acidic drinks or foods is essential, however, leave an hour gap before brushing as you could do further damaged to weakened enamel.
- Drinking water can help wash acids away.
- Don’t swish acidic drinks around in your mouth, the longer you take to swallow the more damage it can do to your teeth.
It is important that you visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups. During your examination your dentist will be able to detect acid wear and offer you advice on the best forms of treatments. Book an appointment today with one of our experienced dentists!