Citric acid is found in household cleaners which are used to dissolve stains and hard water deposits.
Citric acid is also added to many manufactured foods and drinks as a preservative and flavouring agent.
You’ll find it as food additive #330 in lemon, lime and fruit-flavoured juices, cordials, soft drinks, lollies and convenience foods.
In the mouth acids soften and dissolve enamel, making it easier for brushing to wear enamel away.
It’s no surprise that now we’re seeing young people with sensitive, yellow teeth from acid wear.
So as a wise man once said, “If it comes from a plant, eat it. But if it’s made in a plant, don’t”.
Coffee shops are booming because they’re fun places to socialize, work or study and get a great big caffeine hit.
And who doesn’t enjoy a delicious cappuccino?
Unfortunately some coffee drinks also give us more than ½ the daily allowance of sugar.
The iced coffee drinks and milkshakes may be the yummiest but they’re often the unhealthiest with the added sugars, sauces and syrups.
It’s best to enjoy in moderation and be aware of the risks.
Sugar is added to most processed foods as a preservative and flavour-enhancer.
It's recommended our daily sugar intake be about 6 teaspoons but Australians consume more than 27 teaspoons every day!
Most of it comes from our drinks!
Next time you reach for a drink remember:
1 cup apple juice (250ml) has 6 teaspoons
1 can of cola (375ml) has 10 teaspoons
1 can of energy drink (500ml) has 21 teaspoons
Most whitening toothpastes don’t actually penetrate the enamel and change the colour of your teeth.
They have stronger polishing agents which can make your smile brighter by removing more surface stains from coffee, tea and red wine.
The whitening toothpastes with small amounts of peroxide can eventually whiten but it will take time.
However whitening toothpastes can be useful to maintain your bright smile after a professional treatment.
The maximum benefits from fluoride are obtained in children’s teeth from the beginning of tooth development until tooth eruption.
However fluoride continues to promote enamel remineralization, reduce tooth decay and inhibit decay bacteria throughout our lives.
When you drink fluoridated tap water and use toothpaste or rinses with fluoride, you top up the teeth with minerals.
Fluoride protection is particularly helpful for older adults at higher risk for decay from dry mouth conditions caused by medications or health problems.
So the answer is… yup, you do. It’s not just for kids.
Recently a patient showed me the very pretty box that she keeps beside her comfy lounge chair - her toolkit.
It contains everything from heel balm and nail files to dry mouth gel and floss.
She finds it very convenient to use these things as she relaxes in front of the television.
And she has all her own teeth as she’s worked out a way to make flossing part of her daily routine.
Well done, and thanks for the tip.
Unhealthy foods and drinks with heaps of sugar are blamed for everything from tooth decay to bulging bellies.
Australian university researchers recently studied the brains and diets of Aussies aged 60 to 64 years.
They found that unhealthy diets negatively affected the memory and mental health of older Australians while diets rich in vegetables, fruit and fish improved mental fitness.
Healthy diets: good for mental health and great for the teeth too.
Manuka honey has been used by the indigenous people of New Zealand for many years.
It’s widely known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties so is used as a dressing for wounds, burns, bites and cuts.
However it’s not to be consumed by small infants because of its spore content. Diabetics also have to limit their use of the honey due to its high glucose levels.
Unfortunately it’s also a risk for those who use it regularly as a sweetener in tea because honey is a sugar that contributes to tooth decay.
Some folks claim apple cider vinegar helps digestion, reduces cholesterol and works wonders for constipation.
However for those with worn enamel, gum recession and exposed roots, acetic acid in vinegar can cause acid erosion, making the teeth quite sensitive.
Treat it as you would with any acidic drink:
• Rinse your mouth well with water
• Delay brushing for at least ½ hour
• Lightly apply a finger smear of fluoride toothpaste to harden enamel
Do you have trouble swallowing during the day or suffer an annoying cough at night?
Often it’s related to a dry mouth and the absence of saliva due to dehydration and /or medication side effects.
However there’s a simple solution found at chemists in the dental products department: dry mouth gel.
The gel is used to lubricate the mouth and throat by placing a dab on the tongue, spreading it around the mouth then swallowing.
Just drink more water and use the gel when required and the problem is solved.