Acidic food and drinks could soften enamel, and lead to sensitive teeth, dentists have warned.
Prosecco, and some other festive drinks, have a low pH, meaning it’s acidic.
Its bubbles are also packed full of carbon dioxide, which could erode the enamel in teeth.
When the enamel is worn away, the dentine underneath is exposed, which could lead to pain and tooth sensitivity.
“When families gear up to indulge in their favourite foods during the holiday season, tradition often puts numerous acidic foods on the dinner table,” said Dental Hygienist Diana Tosuni-O’Neill.
“When the acids in the foods you eat and drink cause tooth enamel to wear away, teeth can become discoloured as a result.
“When tooth enamel weakens in this way, demineralisation has started to occur – leaving your teeth’s dentin exposed, and prone to sensitivity.
Prosecco, wine, coffee, cranberries, pickles and tomato products could all lead to sensitive teeth.
The best way to reduce the risk of developing sensitive teeth is to use a straw when drinking prosecco, according to Dental Smiles London.
“It’s a good idea to use a straw when consuming any festive fizz, as this helps take the liquid to the back of your mouth rather than it swilling around your teeth, helping to protect your precious enamel,” said Dental Smiles London Dentist, Frances Carline-Thom.
“That way you can enjoy the delicious taste without damaging your enamel.”
Dentists also recommend using sensitive toothpastes to combat tooth sensitivity.
“If you’re partial to hot and cold drinks, such as warm mulled wine, cold festive fizz and cold winter walks, which can trigger your tooth sensitivity, make sure to always brush twice a day with Sensodyne Rapid Relief toothpaste.
“It’s helps provide relief from sensitivity caused by the hot and cold drinks in just 60 seconds.”
Eating acidic foods alongside foods with a higher pH – and therefore lower in acidity – could help to reduce sensitive tooth pain.
Cheese, nuts, mango, bananas, vegetables, whole grains and brown rice all have a low acidity.
While brushing your teeth after a meal is generally a good idea, it could make enamel erosion worse in some cases, said Tosuni-O’Neill.
“Avoid brushing teeth after consuming acidic foods,” she said.
“Acid softens your enamel, and brushing too soon will only speed up tooth wear before the enamel has time to settle again.”