Controlling our diets is the best way to help prevent dental problems:
- • Reducing the amount, and frequency of consumption of foods and drinks with high acid content.
- • Maintaining good hydration; as we become dehydrated, our saliva flow decreases, thus diluting acids in the mouth less. Also, the ability of components within the saliva to actively counteract acids is reduced.
- • Avoid very acidic things just before bedtime, as saliva flow is reduced at night.
- • Don’t brush your teeth just after having something acidic, as dissolved components of the tooth can be reabsorbed back onto the tooth surface, but not if they have been removed!
- • Drink acidic drinks quickly, rather than extending the life of the drink over a while, as this simply increases the length of time of the acids in the mouth.
- • Drink acidic drinks through a straw, as this commonly helps the fluids avoid contact with the teeth.
- • Use a good fluoride toothpaste (most of the big brands are fairly equivalent).
- • As sugars in the mouth cause release of acids by oral bacteria, reducing the frequency and amount of these reduces the overall acid load in the mouth.
- • Generally sticky and boiled sweets tend to leave a more pervasive sugar coating on the teeth. A slightly better option is milk or dark chocolate, as these tend to persist in the mouth for less time.
During a dental examination, we are often able to determine the level of erosion to the teeth, and can help you identify those factors that may be contributing to it. In addition, we are able to suggest ways of strengthening the remaining tooth tissues. Thus we are able to, in tandem, reduce the amount of damage being incurred as well as the susceptibility of the teeth to erosive acids.