I have acid erosion on my teeth. Do I need to worry about that happening to my kids?
Modern-day diets have changed and can include many acid-rich foods and drinks. In fact, a recent survey from ProNamel found that 81 percent of Canadians eat highly acidic foods on a daily basis. The acid from the food or beverage can weaken the enamel of the teeth. Eventually, the weakening and eroding of enamel can lead to painful and sensitive teeth that can require very extensive restorative dental treatment.
Foods that are high in acid include lemon juice, pickles, salad dressings, vinegar and ketchup. But you might be surprised to learn that sports drinks, herbal tea, jellies and jams can also be high in acid, as well as healthy food choices such as fresh fruit and fruit drinks. These all count towards your daily acid exposures.
Your family doesn’t need to cut back on these healthy foods. Instead, consider how you eat and how you can protect your teeth from the acid:
- Reduce the amount of time and the frequency that acids are in contact with your teeth.
- Drink water while or after eating high acid foods.
- Try to minimize swirling, swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth, or use a straw. (This also applies to younger children who might be drinking juice from a bottle.)
- Try using toothpaste that is specifically designed to combat acid wear. They can help protect vulnerable teeth from tooth decay and the effects of acid wear while still letting you and your family enjoy these healthy foods.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, May 2014.