Did you know that acid erosion is the most common chronic disease in children aged 5-17? This scary fact shows the prevalence of damaged enamel, caused by acidic foods and drinks. One of the biggest causes is fruit juice, which although it’s full of vitamins and is healthy for the body, is also very acidic and damages the enamel.
Acid erosion is defined as the irreversible loss of tooth structure due to chemical dissolution by acids. What this means is that the acidic food and drinks we love, are eating away at the enamel on our teeth and damaging it. Signs of acid erosion include the colour of the teeth changing to have a yellowish tint, which is the dentin showing through the weakened enamel. Tooth sensitivity, an increase in the size of gaps between the teeth and the shape of the teeth becoming more rounded are also giveaways to watch out for.
Enamel is a very hard substance that protects our teeth from decay and it’s important that it stays strong and intact. If it starts to be worn away by acidic drinks and foods, then it will let in the bacteria that will then cause many problems further down the line. This means parents need to be really vigilant, and make sure they are taking all the steps they can to prevent acid erosion and keep teeth strong.
The biggest culprits for acid erosion in kids are soft drinks, cordials and fruit juices and while it’s hard to cut these things out altogether, you should limit them. The best drink for us all is water, so both you and your kids should drink plenty of it throughout the day. It’s also advised to drink water after drinking fruit juice, or eating fresh fruit, to clean the mouth of the acidic residue left behind.
Another good trick is to encourage children to drink juice through a straw, so less of the juice ends up on the teeth and never put juice into a feeding cup. Make fizzy drinks a treat rather than the norm, avoid sports’ drinks for kids and limit juice to two per day with plenty of water in between. Make sure your children are visiting the dentist twice a year from an early age to catch any acid erosion early and also consider a fluoride treatment to give the enamel a boost.
If you want any advice on acid erosion in children or adults, or simply want a family check up to make sure everything is OK, please contact MarDenta for a consultation. Our Marbella Dentist is very family friendly, patient and kind and can help your kids to take good care of their teeth and develop a positive association with visiting the dentist, through preventative dentistry and caring, kind treatment.