Did you know that the same corrosive substance that dissolves metal could be attacking your teeth right now? While there are different types of acids that exist, they can all do some level of damage to the structures they come in contact with. When it comes to your mouth, the acids you consume from certain foods and beverages can do plenty of harm.
Your teeth are remarkably strong. In fact, they are the strongest substance in your entire body. Unfortunately, they are not invincible, especially when it comes to acid erosion over time. This refers to a gradual weakening or “eating away” of your tooth enamel over time due to acids. Most people experience an acidic oral environment when they repeatedly consume foods or drinks with a low (acidic) pH.
Why is enamel erosion so bad? We need that outer layer of our tooth for protection. Without a strong enamel, your inner tooth layers and tooth pulp are subject to bacteria invasion. This can lead to decay, infection, sensitivity, cracking and discoloration within a tooth. So there’s a lot at stake when it comes to retaining your tooth enamel.
Now that you understand the serious impact of acids eroding your teeth, it is time to take steps to prevent it. This means knowing which foods and drinks are the culprits to enamel erosion. According to DentalCare.com, there is net loss of enamel from the teeth when pH is at 5.5 or lower. This is referred to as the “critical pH.” The following items are most known for their enamel eroding qualities:
- Carbonated beverages
- Alcoholic beverages
- Citrus fruits
- Pickled vegetables
Keep in mind that once your enamel is gone, it does not grow back. Therefore, it is imperative that you take measures to protect your smile from acids whenever possible.
What You Can Do to Prevent Acid Erosion
The most important and most obvious step you can take to protect your teeth from erosion is limiting or avoiding consumption of highly acidic foods and beverages. However, if you simply can’t skip your morning cup of coffee, there are other ways to help protect your teeth:
- Drink carbonated or acidic beverages with a straw
- Drink acidic drinks in one sitting instead of slowly sipping it throughout the day
- Rinse the mouth out with water after consumption of a highly acidic food or beverage
- Ask your dentist extra fluoride application for your teeth
- Wait 1 hour to brush your teeth after consuming acidic foods or beverages.
If you are experiencing symptoms of enamel erosion on your teeth, schedule an appointment at Gainesville Dental Group. We consider it our job and privilege to keep your smile healthy and strong through all stages of life.
Posted on behalf of Gainesville Dental Group