Yes. The worst time is to brush within 20-30 minutes of consuming a meal or snack or drinking sugary or acid containing drink. The acid from the meal or drink has dissolved and softened the outer surface of your teeth – brushing the softened surface actually abrades and removes this softened part, increasing the damage done to your teeth. Surprised?

As we all enjoy acidic drinks like juices, wine, fizzy drinks from time to time, consider the following to minimise damage:

  • Avoid repeated sipping, down the drink in as few mouthfuls as possible.
  • Chill the drink – less acid is available (chemistry).
  • Drink through a straw so the liquid does not touch your teeth.
  • Don’t drink out of cans – acid is concentrated on your top front teeth which dissolves them faster.
  • Fact – artificial sweeteners are “stickier” than sugar, causing acids in man made drinks to adhere to teeth for longer resulting in more damage. Beware of drinks labelled “diet”, “low sugar”, or “no added sugar”.

Read the small print on man made drinks – culprit chemicals to avoid are phosphoric acid and citric acid. Sugars will be labelled ending in – ose, for example glucose, sucrose and fructose.