Acidic foods and drinks can cause erosion. Dental erosion effects the enamel on our teeth, which causes it to wear away. Fizzy drinks such as sodas, pops and even carbonated drinks such as flavoured fizzy water play a big role in eroding the tooth surface away. It is important to be aware that even diet drinks which do not contain any sugar can still cause erosion as they are very acidic.
Acidic foods and drinks such as fruit and fruit juices, particularly citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges, contain natural acids which can be harmful to your teeth, especially if you have a lot of them often and drink regularly throughout the day.
Hidden sugars in foods
Many foods that we eat contain sugars that we were unaware that existed for example cereals, bread, pasta and some soups. ‘Low-fat’ foods often contain extra sugar to help improve their taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture in place of fat. Many processed foods also contain high quantities of sugar.
High sugar diets are responsible for dental decay so it’s important to be aware when eating these foods the effects it can have on your general health and teeth.
The prevention to erosion and tooth decay
It’s best to consume acidic food and drinks, fizzy drinks and any sodas, just at mealtimes. This will reduce the number of acid attacks on your teeth.
Drink using a straw to help drinks go to the back of your mouth which avoids contact with your teeth.
Wait for at least one hour after eating or drinking anything acidic before brushing your teeth. This gives your teeth time to build up their mineral content again and prevents the acids being brushed into your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to give your teeth more protection.
How can it be treated?
Dental erosion does not always need to be treated, it depends on the severity, however if a tooth does need treatment, it is important to protect the enamel and the dentine underneath to prevent sensitivity and any further wear on the tooth surface, and in more severe cases the dentist may need to fit a veneer or a crown. Dental decay can usually be treated with a simple filling but again this depends on how bad the decay has spread through the tooth. With regular check-ups and advice your dental team can prevent the problem getting any worse and the erosion or decay getting any worse.