Acidic Drinks damage children’s teeth after 30 seconds
It has long been suspected that acidic beverages can have devastating effects on the health of a child’s teeth, and a new study by one University has confirmed this. In fact, the study found that in just 30 seconds of consuming an acidic beverage, tooth erosion can occur. The teeth of children are more vulnerable to erosion than adults because their tooth enamel isn’t as resilient. Children in Torrevieja are also prone to teeth grinding, which, when combined with acidity, can further destroy the teeth.
What is the tooth erosion?
Both sugar and acid can cause life-altering damage to teeth. Drinks such as soda, energy drinks, juice, and sweetened teas contain high levels of sugar and citric acid, which results in the softening of tooth enamel. The sugars found in soft drinks adhere to the teeth and become plaque, which then acidify due to bacteria in the mouth. Couple that with the acidity of the drink itself, and the teeth are basically bathing in acid and sugar.
Saliva is filled with enzymes, which fight bacteria in the mouth. When a person is thirsty of has dry mouth, there is a lack of saliva production, thus decreasing the level of natural enzymes. This decreases the mouth’s ability to fight off bacteria, furthering the potential for decay. Additionally, children are more prone to grinding their teeth than adults, with an estimated 15 to 33 percent of children grinding their teeth regularly. Once the enamel of the teeth has been softened by the sugar and acidity, the teeth become more susceptible to erosion. Teeth grinding exacerbates this erosion considerably.
Saliva naturally contains calcium, which is typically used to re-mineralize the teeth as needed. However, when ample acids have been consumed, it interferes with the mouth’s ability to re-mineralize the teeth. Acid is found in a plethora of foods and beverages including:
• Carbonated beverages: All soft drinks, even sugar-free, can cause rapid tooth erosion. While diet soda is free of sugar, it remains highly acidic, and children should avoid it.
• Dairy: Yogurt, cheese, and milk are all acidic. While most dairy is only mildly acidic, yogurt has been processed to contain additional acids and sugars.
• Fruit: The majority of fruit is very acidic and also contains high levels of sugar. Fruit juices and wines are even worse as the sugars and acids have been condensed.
• Condiments: A variety of condiments contain added sugar and vinegar, both of which lead to tooth decay. Pickled foods also contain vinegar and can have negative effects on the teeth.
• Bulimia and acid reflux: The stomach naturally contains acids that are highly corrosive to the teeth. Vomiting and acid reflux can both cause tooth decay.
In Torrevieja, children are still in the process of developing their enamel, it’s important to pay close attention to what they eat and drink to minimize the potential for tooth erosion.
Signs of tooth erosion
Mild tooth erosion is inevitable over the years. However, early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the exacerbation of decay. It’s important to understand the identifying factors of tooth erosion, so you can seek dental care immediately. Some of the primary indicators of tooth erosion are:
• Sensitivity: Tooth sensitivity is the first sign of a problem, and is often an early indicator to seek dental treatment. As the enamel becomes thinner, the teeth become more sensitive, particularly to hot and cold beverages, as well as sugary drinks or foods.
• Discoloration: Discoloration signifies early tooth decay. As the enamel thins, the teeth become more yellow as the underlying dentin is exposed.
• Transparency: If the biting edge of the teeth begins to appear translucent, this could indicate moderate tooth erosion.
• Rounded teeth: Teeth naturally wear over time. However, as the edges of the teeth begin to round off, this indicates a degree of erosion.
• Cracks: When the protective enamel becomes thinner, the teeth become naturally more brittle and prone to cracking or chipping. If hairline cracks, chips, or roughness occur in the teeth, this can signify advanced tooth decay, and dental intervention is necessary.
• Cupping: Cupping is when dents begin forming on the surface of teeth or when fillings appear to be rising out of the tooth, and it can signify accelerated erosion.
Tooth erosion happens naturally over the years. However, by avoiding acidic and sugary foods and beverages and getting routine checkups at the dentist in Lucrecia Botella, you can drastically improve the health of your mouth and postpone the effects of decay.
If you are experiencing any tooth sensitivity, discoloration, transparency, or other symptoms of tooth decay, talk to us at your next appointment. We can provide possible solutions so that you can improve the health of your mouth without permanently sacrificing your favorite foods or beverages. In Lucrecia Botella, we make treatments include minimizing the consumption of acid and sugar, rinsing the mouth with water after drinking or eating, chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production, and switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
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