Lounging around has something to do with it.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Lounging around has something to do with it.

Tooth enamel is a hard coating that protects our teeth from sensitivity and pain. Tooth enamel, however, does not get along with acid, causing a common dental problem called tooth erosion. 

New research from the British Dental Journal reveals that it is not just what you drink, but how you drink it that might aggravate the intensity of your tooth erosion. 

A study carried out at King’s College London finds how the consumption of acidic food and drinks erode your tooth enamel, resulting in unsightly and unhealthy teeth. Lead author of the study, Dr Saoirse O’Toole, led his team of researchers to study the diets of 300 participants who had severe tooth erosion. 

The results revealed that drinking and eating acidic foods between meals increased one’s risk of tooth erosion. The researchers concluded that people who had acidic drinks twice a day in between meals were 11 times more susceptible to having moderate or severe tooth erosion. 

Instead of letting your mouth rest in between meals, individuals that savour acidic beverages while lounging around for a long period of time are causing their teeth to get worn out faster. It is the act of holding the juice in your mouth or swishing it around before swallowing it that could cause further damage to your teeth. The relaxed nature of snacking and drinking after meals means that we are allowing the acid from our snacks lie in the crevices of our mouth, causing damage to our smiles – yikes! 

Top drink offenders include alcohol, fruit teas, lemon water, soft drinks, sugar-free diet drinks and flavoured water. Other acidic snacks include foods with vinegar or pickled products. 

While you don’t have to swear off acidic drinks completely, you can control the damage to your smile by having your beverages with your meals. The act of chewing your food produces saliva which may reduce the impact that acidic beverages have on your teeth. Additionally, further protect your teeth by always opting for a straw while sipping on your favourite drinks to minimise the direct contact between drinks and your teeth.