1. Don’t rush to brush your teeth

Waiting from 30 to 60 minutes after consuming an acidic drink is always a good idea, as foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Many people would think that brushing their teeth right after a meal is the best, but it actually isn’t. Eating cheese or drinking a glass of water is an alternative to waiting to brush your teeth, as they help reduce the harmful acids that foods can create.

2. Use a straw

If your child has a preference for fruit juices, serve them with a straw. Using a straw when consuming acid drinks can provide an additional layer of protection for the tooth enamel and the gums, which can limit staining or discoloration.

3. Invest in calcium

Calcium is often added in many drinks, in order to increase their nutritional value. Research has shown that the strong presence of calcium in a person’s diet can significantly strengthen and repair the tooth enamel.

4. Look for easy alternatives

While the children are younger and more gullible, give them primarily milk and water and keep them away from acid drinks. If this is not possible as they grow up, try to get them to reduce meal consumption when the saliva flow is bigger, as this will neutralize the food acids more effectively.

5. Brush your teeth only twice a day

Brushing regularly is considered vital for healthy teeth and gums, but overbrushing can lead to sensitive teeth and receding gums. Brush your teeth diligently twice a day, using a non-fluoride toothpaste.

6. Never eat right before bed

Saliva needs approximately an hour to neutralize acids in the mouth. However, the saliva flow is significantly reduced during sleep time. Therefore, it’s preferable to finish your meal at least an hour before going to bed.

Source: Issue 41 (January-March 2016) We and the Dentist