When is best to eat or drink sugars or acids?
We all like our cakes, biscuits, chocolate, fruit drinks & dare we say it fizzy drinks. So when is the best time to consume these to prevent damage to your teeth?
This is a simple question, with a fairly simple answer, that being have them together with a meal rather than between meals.
There are 2 reasons for this;
- Firstly, whenever you eat pretty much anything, the bacteria in your mouth will start turning any 'carbs' into acids for as long as you have food in your mouth. The acid takes approximately 20 minutes to disappear after you have stopped eating. So having extra sugar or acid from a cake or fizzy drink with a meal will not make this any worse.
- Secondly is the principle of episodes of acid attack. Essentially each time the acid builds up & then disappears by being neutralised is deemed an episode or cycle, & it is believed that the more cycles of acid attack the worse the damage to the structure of your teeth. As the acid on average takes about 20 mins to neutralise, if you were to keep sipping from a fizzy drink or have sugary snacks every 30mins (or so) you would cause maximum possible damage.
One other important fact to remember is that never have a sugar or acid containing drink or snack after cleaning your teeth just before going to bed. This is the worst time possible as our mouths dry out during sleep & no saliva means nothing to neutralise the acid so the damage lasts longer.
This is most significant with young children & can be seen in the image above, as giving a bottle of fruit juice at bed time causes 'bottle caries'. Further details can be seen in the Facebook post below.