Sadie’s blog

Our hygiene therapist Sadie advises about acid erosion

Erosion is the loss of tooth surface, by chemical agents.Erosion happens when the enamel is softened and mineral is lost.

Most erosion is caused by acids which can enter the mouth in three main ways:

  • Diet – frequent and/or excessive consumption of carbonated soft drinks, fruit juice, wines, some fruit teas, various fruits and vinaigrettes.
  • Gastric reflux, anorexia and bulimia – regurgitation of acid from the stomach.
  • Occupational – this is relatively rare but acid erosion can be seen in people who work in an acidic environment, e.g. in factories making batteries or wine tasters.
  • Acidic foods should not be avoided- fruit is an essential part of a balanced diet, but it’s best to be aware when having anything acidic and take these simple steps to help protect tooth enamel:
  • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drinks, as this is when the tooth surface is most vulnerable and more likely to be worn away. Try to leave brushing until after 1 hour of eating and drinking anything acidic, or consider brushing before.
  • Do not swish acidic beverages around your teeth. Drink through a straw to avoid contact of the beverage with teeth. Studies have shown the way drink is consumed has more of an effect on your teeth than the quantity you drink.
  • Have some cheese or swish with milk after having anything acidic, this helps neutralise the acid in your mouth. Saliva also helps neutralise, so chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow.

  • Have regular visits to the dentist and hygienist and follow their advice.

How acidic are the things you eat?

High – Lemon juice, Wine, Sports Drinks, Tonic Water, Carbonated Soft Drinks (including diet soda), Oranges, plums, Iced Tea, Blackberries, Blueberries and Strawberries, Grapefruit Juice, Vinegar, Pickles, Apple Sauce, Apple Juice, Apple Cider, Salad Dressing, Cranberries, White wine, Tomatoes.

Medium – Root Beer, Honey, tomato Ketchup, Seedless Raisins, Beer, Apples, Lemon Yogurt, Black Tea, Green Olives, Pesto, Apricots, Figs, Carrot Juice, Beetroot Juice.

Low – Natural Yogurt, Banana, Probiotic Yoghurts, Avocado, Peanut Butter, Cheese, Milk, Mineral water, Broccoli, Rye, Wheat and white Bread, Barley, Cucumber, Black Olives

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