Teeth are durable, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about what you consume. We all know sugary foods and drinks are harmful to our teeth (and our waistline!), but there are other types of foods and drinks to be cautious with as well.
Sugar is harmful because it can do significant damage to your teeth’s enamel. Once this protective surface of your teeth wears away, the dentin is exposed and that can lead to plaque, bacteria, sensitivity and other issues. And don’t forget another primary culprit behind the erosion of enamel – acid!
Acidic food and drinks can cause just as much damage to your enamel as sugary ones, as they deprive your teeth of necessary calcium, a vital part of strong teeth. Unfortunately, many of these acidic foods are also healthy, so you need to enjoy these items in moderation. We also recommend rinsing with water after eating them, and waiting at least 30 minutes to brush so as to not cause further damage.
Be cautious about these common acidic foods and drinks:
- Alcohol – As you can probably guess, beer and wine are acidic.
- Candy – As with sports drinks, you can get the double whammy of sugar and acid. Sour candies are the worst, and if they’re sticky, they can sit on your teeth and cause damage over an extended period of time.
- Soda or carbonated beverages – Again, these are loaded with sugar and are also very acidic. Diet and sugar-free drinks can still cause damage because of the acid.
- Some fruits – Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits may be delicious, but they also are highly acidic. Citrus fruit juice is also acidic.
- Sports drinks – Highly acidic and loaded with sugar. Once again, the sugar-free versions can cause damage as well.
Obviously we don’t want you to give up eating fruit, so there are some steps you can take to limit acid erosion. We already suggested rinsing after you consume food or drinks that are acidic, as well as waiting at least 30 minutes to brush. Other ideas include using a straw and drinking quickly (instead of sipping) to reduce contact with your teeth. Also, try to limit your snacking, or at least save acidic food and beverages for mealtime.
Do you think acid has caused damage to your teeth, or are you having other issues that might require a trip to the dentist? Then don’t hesitate to schedule your appointment with Susquehanna Dental Arts at 717-285-7033.