Prevent Tooth Erosion by Avoiding Acidic Foods
There are several ways we can prevent tooth erosion and decay and maintain good dental health. The food and drinks we consume not only affect our bodies, but they play a major role in our oral health. Avoiding or at least decreasing the number of high-acidic foods you consume is a great way to keep your teeth strong and your mouth healthy.
At Twin Aspen Dental Center, we not only provide comprehensive dental services to people of all ages, but we’re committed to educating our patients on good oral health. From family dentistry to cosmetic dentistry services, we have the experience to address all your dental needs in Parker, CO and the surrounding areas. Below, we’ve explained how acidic foods can affect your teeth and tips to prevent tooth erosion. Call us to learn more!
Why Do Acidic Foods Cause Sensitive Teeth?
Acidic foods and drinks demineralize your teeth, which causes weakened enamel and increased sensitivity. When acidic foods and beverages sit on the surface of your teeth, the enamel begins to soften and erode over time. While brushing after you eat helps prevent tooth decay, brushing too soon after your meals can cause your enamel to erode even faster because it doesn’t have time to strengthen again. This can cause increased sensitivity and tooth pain. If the enamel on your teeth has started to erode, you may:
- Experience pain or sensitivity when consuming hot, cold, or sweet beverages
- Notice your teeth are discolored/yellow
- Notice your fillings have changed
- Be more prone to cavities
- Develop an abscess (in extreme cases)
- Experience tooth loss (in extreme cases)
How Can I Prevent Dental Erosion?
There are a few things you can do on a regular basis to reduce the risk of experiencing irreversible tooth erosion:
- Consume Acidic Beverages Quickly – It’s much better for your teeth if you drink the whole beverage at once rather than consume it over a period of time. After you’ve finished the drink, swish with water and let your saliva remove the acid from your mouth naturally.
- Use a Straw – It’s common knowledge that using straws to drink beverages reduces the contact the liquid makes with your teeth. However, this effect is minimal and shouldn’t be used as a reliable way to increase your dental health.
- Don’t Brush Your Teeth Right After Meals – Because brushing too soon after your meals can cause your enamel to erode even faster due to not having enough time to strengthen again, it’s better to rinse with water and wait a little while.
- Drink Water with Meals – Drinking water with your meals will help balance out any acidic foods. Drinking water in place of soda, fruit juice, and other sugary beverages is a great way to prevent dental erosion.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum – You might not realize it, but one of the main functions of your saliva is to prevent tooth erosion. If you chew sugar-free gum following an acidic meal, your mouth will produce more saliva, which protects your teeth.
- Visit Your Dentist Regularly – Visiting your dentist regularly for routine checkups and cleanings is essential for preventing dental erosion and addressing concerns before they become painful and costly. We also remind you of other oral hygiene habits, such as flossing daily and including fluoride in your daily routine.
Which Acidic Foods Should I Watch Out For?
Some foods contain very high acidity levels, including citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and wine. Be sure to drink water and brush your teeth after you’ve consumed foods and/or beverages that are acidic. While some foods are obvious, such as lemons and pickles, others are harder to spot. The following foods and beverages should be avoided or consumed in moderation:
- Carbonated Beverages – All carbonated beverages, including sparkling water, contain carbonic acid (dissolved carbon dioxide), which lowers the pH level of your mouth and increases your risk for tooth erosion.
- Wine & Cocktails – Wine is highly acidic, and many popular cocktails include large quantities of lemon or lime juice. While they might be tasty, they’re hard on the teeth.
- Honey – Honey has an average pH of 3.9, so it lowers the pH of your mouth. Its acidic level is somewhere between soft drinks and coffee.
- Yogurt & Ice Cream – While dairy products are usually better for your teeth than sugary snacks and soda, the acid content in yogurt, ice cream, and cheese can be hard on your teeth. If you consume dairy products, be sure to drink water after and brush your teeth.
What Are the Signs of Acidic Tooth Damage?
Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to acidic foods and beverages can cause unpleasant symptoms. If you have acidic teeth damage or tooth erosion, you may experience the following signs and/or symptoms:
- Rough or cracked edges on the teeth
- Increased sensitivity
- Transparency in the teeth
- Yellow or discolored teeth
Contact Twin Aspen Dental Center Today
Acidic foods and beverages can harm your dental health by compromising and weakening your tooth’s enamel. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to mitigate the effects, including moderating consumption, maintaining good oral hygiene, and visiting your dentist regularly.
At Twin Aspen Dental Center, we’re committed to providing individualized treatment for patients of all ages. We are Parker’s top choice for comprehensive dental care, providing everything from complete family dental services to cosmetic dentistry, emergency dental services, and much more. Contact us today to learn more about our complete dental services or schedule an appointment. We look forward to hearing from you!