Swapping fruit tea for red wine: How much should we read into the latest oral health advice?
We all know the dangers that sugary sweets and drinks can pose to our teeth, but two pieces of oral health advice have recently emerged that might just surprise you.
Kings College London has just discovered that despite many of us thinking they are harmless, fruit flavoured drinks and teas can actually cause more corrosion than first thought, increasing the chances of moderate to severe tooth erosion by 11 times. Surprisingly, that even includes a slice of lemon in hot water and sugar free soft drinks – which many people deem to be ‘healthy.’ The study also looked at things like salt and vinegar crisps, which thanks to their acidic nature, can erode tooth enamel dramatically.
While many of us might avoid drinking red wine due to the way that it stains the teeth, new research by the Institute of Food Science Research in Madrid, found that the polyphenols in red wine help prevent bacteria sticking to gum tissue.
Although the study’s positive results, the evidence for whether drinking red wine is good for your health is very mixed and we don’t think that people should use this as a justification to drink more wine or think that it is healthy.
Everything in moderation
At JDRM Dental Care, we always welcome new research that affects our industry. However, as with all things we think the best way to approach your oral health is to take the line that most things are okay to consume in moderation. We also believe that you have the power to control the state of your oral health by following a few simple steps:
- Limit acidic drinks to mealtimes
Enamel shields the inner layers of the teeth from disease and other environmental factors. Acid softens and dissolves enamel, so limiting the amount of time the two are in contact is key. Saliva is enamel’s main protection against acid, so limiting acidic drinks to mealtimes can help offer a level of protection.
- Reduce dietary acid where possible
Many of us don’t think about the acid content of what we’re eating or drinking, but making a conscious effort to be more aware can help you reduce dietary acid and protect your teeth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day
The importance of brushing your teeth at least twice a day for no less than two minutes each time cannot be underestimated. It is one of the best ways to remove acid, bacteria and plaque from your teeth and will help protect the enamel. If you’re unsure whether you’re brushing your teeth for long enough, why not download a tooth brushing timer for your phone?
- Have regular dental check ups
Keeping on top of your oral health by having a dental check-up approximately every six months ensures your dentist can accurately assess your teeth and tend to any problems before they escalate into an emergency.