I have an idea for a new horror movie: The Acid Apocalypse; or little kids to walking around with that sippy cup of juice! O, well, maybe not a block buster, but definitely a tooth buster; these acid products damage tooth enamel, “eating away” at the tooth.
But how long does it take before the damage is done? Well, a study out of the Journal of Dentistry, found that the damage can occur within 30 SECONDS of slurping! Now there are things that can protect the teeth, like drinking water right after. Water is our friend! Eating other foods while drinking juice or soda can help reduce acid that damages teeth too. But the real problem is for the “casual sippers”, who just take a swig every10 minutes or so, and thus keep those pearly whites bathed in the acid.
From Chemistry 101, you probably remember that normal blood pH is about 7.4. Water has a pH of 7. Milk has a pH in the 6 range. But most pop, sports drinks and juices are in the pH range of 2 to 3, which is considerably lower than 7. Another cause of cavities can be reflux. In fact, some authorities question if grinding the teeth could be related to reflux, so if your young one grinds, check it out.
So, the take home messages are as follows: don’t let your TSK walk round with a sippy cup of anything but water. Brush the teeth at least one to two times a day, and after every meal or snack, drink some water. See your dentist at least by 3 years of age, and many authorities suggest starting dental visits at 1 year of age. Fluoride is protective, in water, in toothpaste and with varnishes. Give that kid a hug, as you develop your own block buster (maybe “acid” buster”?) starring your very own super hero, Water!