Want teeth like this? Sunderland dentist’s warning over fizzy drinks

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SOFT drink lovers in Sunderland who swap sugar for sweeteners for the sake of their teeth could be ignoring one of the other major causes of tooth damage, a leading Sunderland dentist has warned.

Dr Ken Harris believes most people realise the risk post by sugary drinks but ignore the danger from the acid in fizzy drinks.

Dr Ken Harris, of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry in Sunderland and Newcastle.

Dr Ken Harris, of Riveredge Cosmetic Dentistry in Sunderland and Newcastle.

“Carbonated drinks contain significant acid in the fizz which soften the enamel on your teeth,” said Dr Harris, who has more than 30 years’ experience in general dental practice.

Anyone consuming a soft drink should wait for a while before brushing their teeth or risk damaging the enamel.

“If people go and clean their teeth straight after they’ve had carbonated drinks or fruit juice – which also contains a great deal of acid – they could actually damage their teeth at a time when their tooth enamel has just been softened by the acid,” he said.

“The current way most people brush their teeth is actually accelerating the damage from acid erosion and could be setting up significant dental problems in the future.”

Dr Harris, who runs the Riveredge dental surgery, suggests waiting at least four hours before brushing to allow softened enamel to harden up again.

“In reality teeth should perhaps be brushed before meals, not after,” he said.

“We have been brainwashed into thinking we need to brush our teeth immediately after meals.

“But the evidence for this is flawed, with current advice recommending to just brush morning and night.”