What you eat and drink impacts your oral health more than you think. It’s not just sugary foods that can cause tooth erosion. Foods that are high in acids have also been studied to wear away the enamel of your teeth. Consistent exposure to acidic foods can affect the color and shape of your teeth. The acids in these foods can make your teeth thinner by dissolving the minerals that build your teeth. This enamel erosion can cause many oral health issues like cavities and infections.
The reason you can’t ignore tooth enamel is that it is permanent. You can’t bring back the lost enamel. Once erosion sets in, you might have to undergo various dental procedures to recover from or protect against further damage to your teeth. You might need to get a root canal, extraction, fillings or veneers, etc., to restore the look of your smile. Here in this blog, we will discuss the effects of acidic drinks on teeth and overall oral health along with tips to prevent tooth erosion caused due to acidic drinks.
Here are some signs your tooth enamel is starting to erode:
- Pain or sensitivity while consuming hot and cold drinks
- Discoloration of teeth
- Changes in fillings
So what are some common foods whose acidic content can harm oral health?
Even if your soda or sports drink is sugar-free, it is still acidic because they are carbonated. Regardless of the drink’s flavor, the fizz raises the acid levels of these drinks.
Just one glass with dinner? Still bad for you in multiple ways and even does a number on your teeth. Red wines are less acidic than white wines, but both are bad for your teeth due to the high acid levels. They also leave you more susceptible to teeth staining and discoloration.
Citrus Fruits and Juices
Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, cranberries, etc., and their juices contain high amounts of acid that can wear your enamel away. Fruit juices expose you to much more acid than eating that fruit. It is advisable to eat fruit rather than juices for various other reasons, like the difference between their nutrient content. Fruits also have more essential macro and micronutrient content than their juice counterparts.
Tea and Coffee
Different types of tea have different effects on your oral health. While green tea may positively impact your gums and protect your teeth from decay, iced teas loaded with sugar can even be worse than sodas. Many iced teas have very low pH (2.5 – 3.5), which has terrible effects on your enamel. Brewed tea has a pH of around 5.5 and does not harm your enamel like iced tea does.
Although there’s evidence that a certain amount of coffee can have some good effects on your health, coffee is slightly acidic and can affect your oral health over time. But if you skip additives like sweeteners, it may not be as bad for you.
Although tomatoes have a lot of nutritious value, tomato-based products like pasta sauces and ketchup, especially pre-packaged ones, can be very high in acid, harming your oral health.
To protect your teeth from erosion, you don’t need to completely kick these foods and beverages out of your diet. The key is moderation, healthy eating choices, and regular oral care. So what can we do to limit this erosion from happening? Here are a few tips:
- Do not brush immediately after consuming acidic foods. Give your saliva about an hour to wash the acids away naturally. This gives your enamel time to harden again.
- Chew sugar-free gum. It can help stimulate saliva production, which will remove some of the acid left by the food.
- Use straws while drinking acidic beverages to lessen their contact with your teeth.
- Limit your consumption of acidic and sugary foods.
- Do not hold such foods in your mouth for too long.
- Always rinse your mouth after consuming acidic and sugary foods. You can also eat foods that neutralize acids, like dairy products.
- Maintain good oral health.
- Discuss your diet choices with your dentist. They can help you understand the effects of the food you regularly consume on your teeth.
It is crucial that you talk to your dentist and get regular checkups to notice early signs of enamel erosion and maintain peak oral health. Regular preventative care is critical for ensuring healthy teeth. If you’re looking for the best dentist in Roswell, GA, to help you maintain good oral health or neighboring areas such as Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Marietta, Milton, Sandy Springs, or Woodstock, book an appointment at TruCare Dentistry. To know more about our services, visit our website or call (678) 321-7575.