Australasian Dental Practice

Sunday, 14 July, 2024

01 Nov 2008 | Australasian Dental Practice

news > Spectrum > Page 14

Could your diet be causing permanent damage to your teeth?

For most Australians, your morning coffee ritual is sacred; a mid-morning orange juice or piece of fruit powers you through until lunch; and a glass of red wine is a welcome friend at the end of a long day. But how many of us are aware that these little indulgences, even the healthy ones, could be causing irreversible damage to our teeth – more specifically, the enamel?


According to a recent survey carried out by Colgate, a shocking 71% of respondents* hadn't even heard of enamel erosion, yet it can affect anyone. It's time to start protecting your teeth today by adding a piece of protection into your daily oral care routine for peace of mind - and mouth!

Colgate is launching new Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect to help protect teeth from enamel erosion. This toothpaste helps to strengthen the enamel and provides clinically proven sensitivity relief with regular use. By including Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect in your daily routine, you will help protect against daily acid attacks and create a harder tooth surface.

Enamel erosion is the loss of tooth tissue, often due to exposure from acidic food and drink. A hard layer of enamel protects the teeth and most importantly, the soft tissue inside the tooth called dentine. When the enamel layer is damaged or eroded, the dentine is exposed causing pain and discomfort known more commonly as sensitive teeth.

Most people are aware that soft drinks and sugary juices contribute to tooth decay. What is not so well known is that other types of food and drinks that are healthy in general can cause serious enamel erosion. Citrus fruits, herbal teas and energy drinks can still be enjoyed but can also contain high acid levels that increase the likelihood of erosion.

According to Scientific Affairs Manager and Resident Dentist at Colgate, Dr Barbara Shearer, enamel erosion can be a common problem with people who have high intakes of caffeine or highly acidic foods and drinks, and those people who have a low intake of water.

"Erosion can be managed by dealing with the lifestyle factors which put you at risk, while strengthening your teeth against an acid attack. Enamel loss through erosion is irreversible so it is extremely important to protect your teeth now by drinking plenty of water and brushing daily with a paste such as Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect," Dr Shearer said.

Colgate's top tips to protect your tooth enamel include:

  • Drink plenty of water and rinse your mouth after consuming highly acidic foods or drinks;
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after a meal. Acidic foods and drinks dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth and brushing straight after can actually make the damage worse;
  • Avoid "swishing" or holding high acidic drinks or foods in your mouth. Perhaps try drinking your drink through a straw to minimise the acid exposure; and
  • Use a soft toothbrush such as the Colgate 360° Sensitive and brush your teeth twice a day with Colgate Sensitive Enamel Protect to help protect against enamel erosion.

* Web based survey of 3,393 people carried on www.oralhealthmonth.com.au between 28 July and 31 August 2008.

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