Know what foods are acidic and will cause erosion on your teeth – limit these and where possible confine them to meal times:
- Drink still non- carbonated drinks.
- Have something neutral after consuming something acidic such as a glass of water to wash the acid away.
- Chew sugar free gum to help stimulate more saliva to neutralize the affects of the acid.
- Drinking through a straw will certainly help and some people have a bizarre habit of swishing drinks all around their mouths before swallowing them – not a good idea, unless it's water.
- DO NOT brush straight after eating or drinking anything sugary- the bacteria will be full stream ahead producing acid at this point which is softening (demineralising) the enamel on your teeth. The worst thing you can do is take a brush to it and scrub away- you will almost certainly be doing more damage than good. Let your saliva do its job and neutralize things first. Rinse with water by all means- but save brushing for half an hour later.
(I had a patient not too long ago with great oral hygiene but extensive wear across all of his teeth. I questioned him about it and what previous dentists had recommended- all sound advice on avoiding drinks and foods that cause erosion. It turns out, he brushed his teeth with a medium hard tooth brush immediately after drinking orange juice at work at least twice everyday because he was worried about the effects of the sugar. Bingo.)
- Consider using products that help remineralise enamel such as Proenamel toothpaste or a high fluoride mouthwash
- Fluoride increases the hardness and resistance of enamel to dental caries but also to acid wear.
See our chapter on fluoride
for more details and always follow your dentists recommendations- every individual and situation is unique so a full examination and history is needed to tailor individual advice.