I have officially decided spring is upon us. I am also choosing to ignore the dire warnings for this week where I live of potential snowstorms and instead focus on the season that is just begging to fully arrive any moment…really, any moment now….how about now? Nope, not yet huh?
Alright, what we’ll do instead is plan ahead and daydream about the parties we’ll attend, and the treats we’ll have…and enjoy with some tips from my friends at ProNamel. I felt it important to go to the experts for us so we’re all set for maximum enjoyment.
I do, in fact, have sensitivity as a result of enamel loss and am a very long-time user of Sensodyne and ProNamel. At the bevvy of parties and fun gatherings a multitude of cocktails and assorted beverages make an appearance, from wine to hot apple cider and hot chocola te (still in season and lovely). What are ‘better’ choices and ‘less than ideal’ ones that might put a sour note on the event?
Beverages that are often served at parties like red wine, white wine, apple cider and hot chocolate are high in acidity and have the potential to cause long-term erosion and tooth wear. Other beverages that are high in acid include soft drinks, coffee and tonic water.
Interestingly enough, a recent survey conducted by GSK revealed that Canadians rank coffee and wine among their favourite beverages but the majority don’t realize that these beverages are acidic.
I try my darndest to eat a lot of fruits and veggies at parties to offset a couple of treats. Are there any in particular I, and others like me, should avoid or gravitate towards in order to not eat too many of those craved sweets?
Fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, avocados, bananas which are many of our favourite foods are low in acid.
Fruit like blackberries, blueberries, cherries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, pineapples, pomegranates, raspberries and strawberries are high in acidity.
But you don’t have to give up on your favourite appetizers. Canadians can still enjoy the foods they love without compromising the strength of their teeth. Utilizing proper oral hygiene techniques and using a toothpaste specifically designed to help protect against the effects of acid erosion can help to mitigate the harm done by acidic foods. Toothpastes such as ProNamel help strengthen and re-harden acid-weakened enamel making it healthy, stronger and better-protected so it’s more resistant to enamel loss and future Acid Wear, which could lead to sensitivity.
Chocolate? Cookies? Brittle candy? Cakes? Which are better ‘not so great’ choices?
Apart from the issue of introducing sugar to the teeth, the sweet items mentioned have other damaging effects. Most of us are well aware of the benefits that cocoa provides. However, chocolates may also contain caffeine which can exacerbate acid reflux for those suffering from the condition. Therefore, for those people, eating chocolates in moderation would be the key to reducing acid challenges on the enamel. Candies and cookies that are of hard consistency can introduce micro fractures in the enamel. Furthermore, enamel that is already weakened by acid can fracture or simply chip away small portions at a time. For this reason, hard foods such as brittle candies, nuts and hard candies should be avoided at all times.
I’ve heard that sometimes straws help with beverages, is that an option? Difficult with some drinks for sure, but perhaps with others it might work?
To help reduce the risk of enamel wear there are many things you can do. You can try reducing the amount of time that acids are in contact with the teeth. To minimize swirling, swishing or holding acidic drinks in your mouth, you can use a straw.
In addition to this, there are a few other tips to help protect against Acid Wear:
- Make an appointment to see the dentist. They will be able to look at your teeth for early signs of Acid Wear and assess levels of risk likely from your diet and brushing habits.
- Try not to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking acid foods and beverages, and make sure you’re using a soft bristled brush. Ideally wait 30 minutes before brushing.
- Encourage children and teenagers to brush twice a day with a toothpaste like ProNamel to encourage good brushing habits and prevent future acid challenges.
Enamel loss is caused by acids acting on the tooth’s surface. In fact, as few as four acidic exposures a day can put tooth enamel at risk of Acid Wear. Each time teeth are exposed to acidic food or drinks, the acids can weaken the enamel as it loses minerals, making it easier for the enamel to wear away.
If enough of the enamel wears away the dentin layer becomes exposed and the nerve in the center of the tooth becomes susceptible to stimuli, resulting in a short, sharp pain caused by certain triggers, such as hot and cold foods and beverages.
ProNamel toothpaste builds up a protective barrier and insulates the nerve (with twice daily brushing) so you can keep enjoying hot and cold beverages.
Visit www.pronamel.ca for more information on Acid Wear, its effects and its causes.
Thank you to my friends at ProNamel for these wonderful tips and tricks to maximize our return to gatherings in warmer temps…which are coming…the groundhog said so…right? 😉