When you reach for a glass of wine, you already know that you’re making a less healthy choice than reaching for a glass of water.
However, there’s nothing like a visual aid to really hammer a point home – and a new post from Dr Lewis Ehrlich, a dentist based in Australia, has done just that.
Dr Lewis shared the public service announcement on his Facebook page, featuring a series of images that highlight just how damaging certain drinks can be when it comes to tooth erosion, and encouraging his followers to #rethinkyourdrink. He also included a snap of himself ‘with a concerned look’, because this is a ‘serious issue’.
The other pictures, which are zoomed in 7000x times, show the outer surface of a tooth (enamel) when exposed to still drinking water with a PH of 7, a sugar free ‘vodka cruiser’ with a PH of 3.2, and a gin and tonic, which has a PH of 2.2.
As you can see, water keeps the surface of the tooth smooth and intact, while vodka left the enamel with ‘more holes than Swiss cheese’, and gin had a similarly shocking effect. (If you’re not a drinker, don’t feel too smug too soon, as both Coca-Cola and fruit juice have similar PH levels to the damaging drinks).
‘Take home message…you only get one set of adult teeth,’ Dr Lewis concluded. ‘If these drinks can dissolve the hardest part of your body it’s scary to think what they would be doing elsewhere.’
‘Avoid carbonated and sweetened drinks where possible. If you’re going to have them, drink them through a (biodegradable) straw and chase them with a water, wait at least 30 mins before brushing your teeth, and it’s not a bad idea to have some healthy food around to help stimulate saliva and protect those chompers.’
According to WebMD, other ways to prevent tooth erosion include drinking more water to prevent dry mouth, chewing sugar-free gum to lower the amount of acid in your mouth, and waiting at least an hour to brush after you’ve had acidic foods or drinks.
But if you’re really concerned about your tooth enamel, always consult with your dentist – after all, as Dr Lewis proves, there’s nothing like the knowledge of an expert.