Give your teeth a break and prevent tooth wear: 6 easy lifestyle tips

Written by: Dr Shravan Chawla
Published: | Updated: 29/11/2023
Edited by: Emma McLeod

Tooth wear is an increasing problem due to keeping our teeth for longer and the acidic foods and drinks we consume, but giving your teeth some TLC can lessen the impact that such an acidic diet might have. Here, Dr Shravan Chawla, a specialist in prosthodontics and restorative dentistry, provides you with easy to implement tips to prevent your teeth from becoming needlessly worn down.

A woman smiling and drinking through a straw

1. Carry a straw for your drinks

Do you know how many drinks are acidic? The list includes:

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juices
  • Smoothies
  • Alcohol

The acidity of these liquids can damage the outer surfaces of our teeth and contribute to tooth wear. However, if you use a wide straw, the liquid is directed to the back of the mouth and it avoids being swished around the mouth. What’s more, the straw doesn’t need to be made of plastic. You can keep things environmentally friendly by using a reusable or paper straw.


2. Have some chewing gum

By chewing sugar-free gum after eating or drinking, you help your mouth stimulate saliva. The benefit of saliva is that it neutralises acid in your mouth, which means that it will minimise the possibility of teeth being worn away and decayed. If you’re not a fan of chewing gum, you could also have a little milk or cheese as this can also help to reduce the effects of acidic foods and drinks.


3. Brush your teeth at the right time – and in the right way!

Unknown to many, you should leave at least an hour between consuming acidic foods/drinks and brushing teeth. If you can’t wait, use a fluoridated mouthwash and apply a paste containing high fluoride or calcium phosphate– but don’t rinse afterwards. When you do brush your teeth, use a fluoridated toothpaste and brush gently to remove plaque.


4. Think about when you snack

When it comes to acidic snacks (think fruits, salad dressings, soft drinks and alcohol), aim to consume them at mealtimes. By doing so, you minimise the risk that they’ll damage your teeth whilst still having a good and healthy balanced diet. If you want to snack between meals, try less acidic food like cheese, carrots, celery, boiled eggs, hummus and pitta. The web is full of alternative snack options that are low in acidity.


5. Relax your jaw

A stressful lifestyle has been linked to teeth clenching and grinding at night, which causes tooth wear. Think about any stressful elements of your life you could influence with some small lifestyle changes, such as reading, having a bath or relaxing before bed. Alternatively, a mouthguard worn overnight could help to save your teeth.


6. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to see your dentist

Whether you need to address concerns about tooth wear or would like advice on preventing it, your dentist will be on hand to help you protect your teeth.


Dr Shravan Chawla is a leading specialist in restorative dentistry and prosthodontics. Book an appointment with him by visiting his profile.

By Dr Shravan Chawla

Dr Shravan Chawla is a leading aesthetic, biomimetic and restorative dentist based in Marylebone, London, who specialises in cosmetic smile makeovers, full mouth rehabilitation and bonded restorative dentistry alongside cosmetic dentistry, composite bonding and veneers. He privately practices at the esteemed Wimpole Street Dental Clinic

Dr Chawla has over 15 years of international clinical experience and he is established as an all-rounder within his specialist fields. He is highly qualified, with a BDS from SSR Medical College in Mauritius and is fully licensed to practise in India and the UK.

Dr Chawla takes a holistic approach when treating his patients, truly focusing on individual needs, and his attention detail to detail is second to none. He takes pride in creating awareness and promoting ethical and minimally-invasive procedures for his patients.

His approach reflects his passion for dental photography, where he provides the opportunity to showcase complex treatments in a simplified manner. He visually introduces and guides patients through the different stages of a smile makeover and the options available. Furthermore, Dr Chawla utilises his expertise in Digital Smile Simulation and Smile Design software to provide a personalised visual before treatment. This empowers patients to make an informed decision when considering their treatment with him. 

Dr Chawla remains at the forefront of research, techniques and protocols, regularly attending events as part of his commitment to continuous professional development. He strives to provide a painless, hassle-free and comfortable experience, and works closely with master ceramists where the world of art and dentistry combine for world-class results. 

His research has been published online and Bay Dental Institute, which he is the founding director of, was named as one of the 10 best dental institutes in India. He is also the member of various professional organisations including Indian Dental Association (IDA), the Indian Association of Aesthetic and Cosmetic Dentistry (IAACD) and Restorative and Implant Practice Excellence (RIPE), as well as EDU Hub's Study Club at New York University (NYU) and Impart Training and Study Club at IMPART EDU, NYU.  

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