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Acidic threat to children's teeth - top tips to avoid acid erosion

publication date: May 16, 2009

Acid erosion is a growing problem in children with up to 30 per cent of 12 year-olds and up to 53 per cent of five year-olds exhibiting tooth surface loss. Further consumer research by Sensodyne shows that while 94 per cent of British parents know that acidic foods and drinks can damage their children’s teeth, the reality is that many do not understand which items are acidic.

Causes of acidic erosion

  • Dentists believe the main causes of acid erosion in children to be the consumption of carbonated drinks without a straw (52 per cent) and the frequent drinking of soft drinks (36 per cent).
  • Soft drinks could pose a risk to the children’s teeth but 34 per cent of parents are unaware of this.
  • Fruit can be harmful to teeth but only 28 per cent of parents interviewed knew that.

Crucially, it is not just what is eaten but also how foods are consumed that can cause acid erosion. Nearly two-thirds of parents said that their children consume fizzy drinks without a straw, and over half said they regularly cover their food in acidic sauces or dressings – both of which can contribute to the condition.
In response, Sensodyne Pronamel for Children – a toothpaste specifically designed to help protect teeth from the effects of acidic food and drinks – has been launched. Used daily, it helps to re-harden acid-softened tooth enamel and limit toothwear during brushing. Sensodyne Pronamel for Children also has all of the benefits of regular toothpaste.
To help protect children’s teeth from acid erosion:

  • Discourage children from swishing acidic drinks around or holding them for prolonged periods in their mouth.
  • Instead encourage them to drink acid drinks with a straw placed towards the back of the mouth away from teeth.
  • Encourage children to avoid brushing their teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drinks as this is when the enamel is at its softest - it’s best to wait as long as possible after an acidic meal or brush beforehand.
  • Ensure you take your child for regular dental check-ups and talk to a dental professional about any concerns you or your child may have.
  • Use Sensodyne Pronamel for Children twice daily with a medium-soft toothbrush.