With the sun finally starting to peep out through the clouds, summer is definitely coming, but did you know that some of your summer favourites could cause damage to your teeth.
During the summer months, it is quite likely that you may increase your consumption of carbonated drinks, whether diet or full fat, citrus fruits and berries, white wine and cider. All of these have a low pH and can therefore cause acid erosion.
Every time you eat or drink anything acidic, the enamel on your teeth is softened and it takes time for the saliva to return the pH in your mouth to neutral. If these attacks happen too frequently, your mouth does not have time to recover and tiny bits of enamel are brushed away. When the enamel on teeth is worn away, the sensitive dentine is exposed and this can lead to pain and sensitivity.
Tips to keep your teeth healthy
- Brush for at least two minutes, twice a day, using a fluoride toothpaste. Studies have shown most of us brush for only about 45 seconds. To get an idea of what two minutes actually feels like, set a timer or play a song while brushing your teeth.
- You don’t need to give up acidic foods in your diet, particularly fruit, but take a fresh look at how you eat them and how often. If you’re eating something acidic, have cheese, milk, or another non-acidic food or drink with it and wherever possible try to have acidic foods and drinks at mealtimes.
- Use a straw when enjoying acidic drinks and don’t swish them around or hold them in your mouth. This will reduce the amount of acid that comes into contact with your teeth.
- Try not to brush your teeth immediately, aim to wait at least an hour after eating or drinking, to reduce the risk of brushing away the softened enamel and make sure you’re using a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Make sure you visit your dentist regularly. The dentist will be able to identify any issues early and this reduces the risk of needing extensive, expensive treatment.