Love your tooth enamel: 3 Simple Ways to Prevent Enamel Erosion and Tooth Decay

A lot of things we like to eat and drink have an acidic nature

This isn’t just the bad stuff, like soft drinks and energy drinks. The list also includes fruit, juices, (even freshly squeezed juices), citrus, lemon and wine.

Enamel wear occurs as a result of exposing our teeth to an acidic environment. This can be sped up by eating lots of acidic foods and also the frequency of meals.

Preserving the tooth enamel is imperative to our overall dental health. Once the enamel has eroded our teeth become exposed to all sorts of dental health problems like cavities, sensitive teeth and tooth decay.

At Whitehorse Dental we emphasise the importance of looking after your tooth enamel because once it goes, it doesn’t come back.

Here are 3 simple ways to avoid and prevent enamel erosion:


1 ) Drinking water

The easiest way to mitigate damage is to have plain water after having anything acidic. Simply pump it around your mouth, and swallow.

This will clear the debris and help neutralise the acidic environment.

Drinking plain water between meals, rather than flavoured drinks, also helps give our tooth enamel a break from acidic environments.

2) Avoid brushing straight after meals

The environment in our mouths naturally becomes more acidic when eating or drinking – this is the beginning of the digestion process.

Because of the acidity, our enamel is weaker after we eat or drink (with the exception of water).

By brushing straight after you eat, you can brush away your enamel that has been softened by the acidic environment it has just been in.

It is still quite safe to use floss or interdental brushes (here is ‘why you don’t need to floss’ blog) after meals to get rid of any food particles trapped between your teeth.  But in terms of using a toothbrush, we recommend waiting at least an hour after eating. By this time the acidic environment in your mouth will have returned to its neutral state, making it safe to brush.  

For a more in depth guide on how to brush your teeth, see our blog post about brushing your teeth more effectively.

3) Avoid grazing

Increasing the frequency of meals throughout the day also increases the amount of time your teeth are exposed to an acidic environment.

If you are constantly snacking throughout the day, you are not allowing your mouth to return to its pH neutral state and maintaining an acidic state.

Tooth enamel constantly exposed to acid ⇒ enamel erosion.

Still curious about tooth enamel? Feel free to call our friendly dentists at Whitehorse Dental in Blackburn, we would be happy to chat with you!