Enamel is vital for the protection of our teeth. This substance is the hardest found in our body, it forms the outside of each tooth which protects the sensitive dentine underneath.
When the enamel is worn away, the dentine is exposed, which may lead to pain and sensitivity and can eventually lead to tooth decay. Since tooth enamel can’t be repaired in any way, it is important that we take good care of our teeth.
What is tooth or acid erosion and how can I prevent it ?
Acid erosion occurs when certain foods with a high acid content come into contact with the teeth and soften the enamel surface. The more times a day you eat or drink something sugary, and the longer the sugar stays in your mouth, the more likely this damage will occur.
Saliva is a natural remedy to this, but when acid attacks are repeated, it compromises the body’s natural ability to neutralise the mouth acidity. This is when the acid in food and drinks can start to damage your enamel.
When the enamel starts to wear down, your teeth are more exposed to the possible development of cavities, and as a result, your teeth may become more and more sensitive, reacting to hot or cold foods, drinks and sweets. It’s therefore advisable to try to restrict sweet food and drink to less than four times a day, as part of your three meals and one snack per day.
Steps for the prevention of tooth erosion
A combination of steps may be needed to avoid erosion based on the cause for which you are at risk. For example, erosion might occur as the result of an toothbrushes or as an effect of a medical condition. You can reduce damaging your teeth by:
- Abstaining from or reducing drinking soda, sports drinks, and energy drinks. You can choose milk or water instead.
- Try to use a straw when you drink an acidic beverage, such as citrus or orange juice, and do not keep acidic food in your mouth for a long time – swallow it quickly.
- Limit consumption of acidic foods to meal times, eating them with other foods to minimize acid exposure.
- Rinsing your mouth with water, chewing sugar-free gum, or sucking on a sugar-free candy after an acidic intake can help to neutralise the acid remaining in your mouth.
- Always wait half an hour before brushing your teeth when you eat or drink something acidic.
- Only use toothbrushes with soft bristles, and choose toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Eating a small piece of cheese after finishing any sweets helps neutralise the sugars.
- Ensure that your next regular dental check-up appointment is booked.
Should you experience any of the symptoms we have mentioned in this article, don’t wait too long! At Angel Orthodontics we can help with regular dental hygiene treatments, where your teeth are professionally cleaned. Here, plaque and tartar will be removed in order to prevent tooth decay.