The best prevention against acid erosion is to avoid acidic drinks altogether. This gets tricky with things like citrus fruits (oranges, lemons and limes) that we consume for our health. Limiting soda pop and sport/energy drink intake is good for oral and physical health, but these drinks are often consumed out of habit (especially when part of a work out routine, for example).
If you have to consume anything acidic be sure to rinse your mouth with water afterwards, or follow it with other drinks or foods that are higher on the pH scale, like milk, yogurt or cheese.
Whatever you do, don’t brush your teeth immediately after consuming acids. Strange as it sounds, there’s a period after ingesting acids when the enamel is softer than normal. Brushing, especially with coarser toothpaste, amplifies wear and erosion.
Tips for Battling Acid Erosion
1. Try drinking anything sweet or acidic through a straw to reduce direct contact with the teeth.
2. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming these drinks. Do this before brushing your teeth to help neutralize the acids.
3. Chew xylitol gum or mints after consuming these drinks to help restore pH to a less acidic level.
4. Don’t give your kids pop at bedtime. Apart from turning them into hyperactive monsters the liquid can pool in the mouth, coating the teeth with sugar and acid.
5. Always use fluoride toothpaste to protect your enamel.
What’s your favourite drink? Can you find it on the list? See where you stand in terms of the biggest acid erosion culprits and think about changing your consumption habits.