- Do you drink lots of soft drinks, juice, or sports drinks? As more and more people have taken to drinking pop, dentists notice more and more enamel erosion. Cola-based soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, while non-cola drinks – usually clear, bubbly concoctions with lemon or lime flavours – feature citric acid. Juices and sports drinks can also be acidic. If you must drink these drinks, use a straw to help bypass the teeth.
- Do you like to drink soft drinks when you're thirsty? Ah, a crisp, cold soft drink sounds so nice when you're parched, doesn't it? But when you're at your thirstiest, your mouth may be quite dry and low on protective saliva. Without the saliva to neutralize acid, swigging pop would be one of the worst things you could do for your teeth. Drink water instead!
- Are you a wine connoisseur? Since it comes from grapes, which are acidic, wine naturally contains acid that can wear down tooth enamel. For less acidic wine, opt for an Italian red, which seems to have a less corrosive effect than French wine or white wine. And unless you're a professional wine-taster, try not to swish wine around in your mouth for too long. Swishing splashes the wine all over your teeth, bathing them in acid.
- Do you like a good nightcap? If you're going to drink wine, pop, juice, or sports drinks, give yourself a couple of hours before heading to bed. Just like swishing, sipping on acidic drinks before bed means that your teeth will spend hours in contact with corrosive acids. Brush before hitting the pillow, but be sure to wait about an hour after drinking to brush. Brushing immediately after consuming acidic foods or drinks is not advised since the enamel remains soft after a potentially erosion-causing activity, making the enamel susceptible to mechanical wears and tears.
If you can, try to consume these drinks that negatively affect tooth enamel with a meal. During a meal, there is more saliva that helps to neutralize the acidity and protect your teeth.
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