We all know how eating sweets and puddings on a regular basis can harm our teeth, but have you ever thought about how what you drink affects your oral health? Often, drinks can be just as problematic as food when it comes to tooth damage.
How drinks can damage your teeth
Many drinks available in supermarkets, cafes and restaurants contain a lot of sugar and this spells bad news for oral health. A lot of drinks are also acidic, making them a major risk factor for acid erosion. Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth and acids wear down the enamel, weakening its structure and gradually forming cavities in the surface. Once the enamel is damaged, there is no way to restore. This elevates the risk of tooth decay.
When we drink fizzy drinks, fruit juice, fruit cider, alcopops and wine we coat the teeth in acid, increasing the risk of erosion.
Preventing acid erosion
The best way to prevent acid erosion is to avoid drinking and eating acidic products that contain a large amount of sugar. Yet there are some extra steps you can take to reduce the impact, such as:
- Use a straw to drink through
- Drink water or milk after consuming other beverages
- Eat cheese or yoghurt when you drink acidic or sugary drinks
- Wait at least 45 minutes to brush your teeth after eating or drinking
If you would like advice about healthy eating or more information about which foods are harmful for your teeth and gums, our dentists and dental hygienists will be happy to help.