Acid Erosion and Children’s Teeth

It was reported in the Dental Tribune (14 – 21 July 2008) that children should brush their teeth no more than twice a day and not straight after meals.

A survey by Sensodyne of dentists, parents and children revealed that 79 per cent of dentists are seeing the effects of acid erosion on children’s teeth at least once a week. Fizzy drinks, chocolate, fruit and fruit drinks which are high in acid are the main culprits, as are foods covered in sauces or dressings.

The situation is made worse by parents getting their children to clean their teeth after every meal. This is the worst time to clean teeth as the acid has softened the enamel.

The survey found that:

  • 53% of five year olds have some form of erosion
  • 9 out of 10 parents know about acid erosion but were unsure what types of food and drink contain acid
  • 6 out of 10 parents said their children smothered their food in sauces and dressings

The greatest cause of acid erosion in children is through drinking carbonated drinks without a straw and the frequent drinking of soft drinks.

What can be done about acid erosion?

Sparkle Dental Boutique, Brentford says that parents should encourage children to drink acidic drinks with a straw placed towards the back of the mouth away from teeth. In addition, children should be encouraged to avoid brushing their teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drinks as this is when the enamel is softest. Its best to brush before hand or wait as long as possible after an acidic meal.

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