Diet plays a major role in plaque formation, particularly when it comes to fermentable carbohydrates like sucrose. Weak organic acids are the result, which weaken the tooth structure and cause decay. The frequency of snacking is more important than what you snacked on, so cutting down the number of times you snack will help. Another important part of your diet is what you drink. Carbonated drinks and high energy drinks, besides containing high level of sugar promoting plaque growth, are also acidic. Even the sugar free ones are highly acidic.
Acidity in the diet is one of the main factors in acid erosion of teeth. Acids demineralise and soften the tooth surface making it more susceptible to abrasion, particularly by tooth brushing with or without toothpaste. This problem, unlike tooth decay is not of bacterial origin, and is related to what you eat and drink. Foodstuffs/drinks to be aware of are: carbonated drinks, high energy drinks, fruits and fruit juices, vinegars, red wines, and chewable vitamin C tablets. Acid erosion is also present in some medical conditions, e.g. Bulimia Nervosa and gastro-esophageal reflux disease.
Symptoms of acid erosion can manifest as a general sensitivity to cold water and air, and is usually episodic and can be directly associated with an acidic episode. The sensitivity worsens with the progression of erosion. Brushing straight after an acidic episode is not advised as the tooth surface affected will be weakened and brushing will aid in removing the softened tooth surface. It would be best to rinse straight afterwards and wait an hour or so before brushing. Drinking acidic drinks through a straw will help minimise the contact time of the drink with your tooth structure. Ask you dentist about Tooth Mousse and other ways to help treat acid erosion.