Key to wear­ing well what­ever your age

The Jewish Chronicle - - JC SPECIAL - BY PROF ANDREW EDER

TOOTH WEAR is no re­specter of age; in fact, it is in­creas­ing across the UK among both the young and the old. But why does it mat­ter? Af­ter all, it is a nat­u­ral part of age­ing. True — but life­style can ac­cel­er­ate and ex­ac­er­bate this process. The re­sult may be tooth sen­si­tiv­ity and an un­sightly smile due to teeth be­com­ing short and unattrac­tive, while rough tooth edges can harm the lips, tongue and in­side of the cheeks.

More than three-quar­ters of adults and more than half of chil­dren show signs of tooth wear.

What is more, sadly, 35 per cent of 12-year-olds and 28 per cent of 15-yearolds are too em­bar­rassed to smile or laugh due to the con­di­tion of their teeth.

With­out doubt, tooth wear has the po­ten­tial to af­fect a per­son’s self-es­teem for life. And that is not some­thing any of us want for our­selves or for our chil­dren.

What can be done to min­imise and pre­vent tooth wear that might oth­er­wise re­quire ex­pen­sive and ex­ten­sive den­tal treat­ment fur­ther down the line? Par­tic­u­larly com­mon among chil­dren and young adults, tooth ero­sion is caused by con­sum­ing acidic foods and drinks; the acid at­tacks the outer sur­face of the teeth.

Cul­prits in­clude fruit juices, smooth­ies, sports bev­er­ages and fizzy drinks (in­clud­ing sugar-free).

Where pos­si­ble, drink still wa­ter or low-fat milk be­tween meals, lim-

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