What is tooth erosion?

tooth erosion soft drink

What is tooth erosion?


Many things that we eat and drink are acidic. Food acids can often be added to processed foods and drinks. These acids can dissolve and also soften some of the tooth’s surface, making it easier for them to be worn away by abrasion or teeth grinding. Some common foods and drinks that contain high levels of acid include: 

  • Soft drinks (all, not just sugar free) 
  • Sports/energy drinks 
  • Citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges etc.) 
  • Cordials 
  • Vitamin C chewing tablets 
  • Fruit juices 
  • Vinegar 
  • Wine 


Tooth erosion can be limited by reducing the exposure of acids with your teeth. Some good healthy habits are: 

  • A well balanced healthy diet 
  • Reduce how often you eat or drink anything acidic 
  • Drink tap water rather than soft drinks or juices 
  • Eat fruit at meal times rather than between meals 
  • Reduce how long you leave anything acidic in your mouth 
  • Do not chew on vitamin C tablets. You can take supplements that are swallowed as a whole. 
  • Speak with your doctor if you suffer from regular reflux or vomiting 


Saliva is your natural defence against tooth erosion. Try chewing sugar-free gum after a meal to help promote good saliva flow. Rinsing with tap water or a fluoride mouth rinse will also neutralise the acid in your mouth. It’s important to make sure we reduce the acid before brushing, then use a soft bristled toothbrush with fluoridated toothpaste. 

If you notice your mouth is often dry, you may be at increased risk of tooth erosion. Speak with one of our caring dental professionals here at All About Smiles in Ettalong or Kincumber if you have any concerns. They will assess your current dental condition and provide you with the best possible advice.