STAINS EX­PLAINED

Loung­ing around has some­thing to do with it.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

Find out the sur­pris­ing habit that’s turn­ing your teeth yel­low.

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.

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