Erosion in Children’s Teeth

Dentists Issue Warning for Children’s teeth (Source: IDA Times)

Children should brush their teeth no more than twice a day and not straight after meals, according to a leading dental academic. Professor Jimmy Steele of the school of dental sciences at the University of Newcastle, UK, is urging parents to change their habits after a survey by the company Sensodyne found, that 79 per cent of dentists are seeing the effects of acid erosion on children’s teeth atleast once a week. It also found that 55 per cent of five year olds had some form of tooth erosion.

More than nine in 10 parents asked in the survey knew acid was bad for teeth but they were unsure about which types of food and drink contained it. The situation is made worse because parents, who believe they are doing the right thing, get their children to clean their teeth after every meal.. “Encourage children to avoid brushing their teeth immediately after consuming acidic food or drinks as this is when the enamel is at its softest,” said Professor Steele. “It’s best to wait as long as possible after an acidic meal or brush before hand.”

Dentists believe the main causes of acid erosion in children worldwide to be the consumption of acidic soft drinks without a straw. A survey conducted in 2006 has shown that Asians consume more than twice of the global average. “It is important for parents to take small steps to minimize the risk to their children’s teeth,” Prod. Steele says. He urged parents to encourage children to drink acidic drinks with a straw placed towards the back of the mouth away from the teeth.

Acid erosion is often considered harmless and can be difficult to detect, especially in the early states. If understand, it can result in pain from dental sensitivity, loss of tooth shape and even the exposure of underlying dentine.