Consuming too many acidic foods and drinks can cause damage to the teeth.
It’s common knowledge that consuming sugar can cause harm to the teeth, but acidic foods and drinks can also be detrimental to one’s oral health. Acid can cause the enamel to wear away over time, leading to a number of issues, including sensitivity and tooth erosion. Read on to find out which foods and drinks are particularly acidic and what impact they have on the teeth…
Which foods and drinks are acidic?
Foods that are particularly acidic and should be enjoyed in moderation only include citrus fruits and juices; tomatoes; pineapples; blueberries; peaches and grapes. Jams and vinegars also tend to be highly acidic. Sodas and sports drinks are also very acidic — including those that don’t contain sugar. All of these foods and beverages can contribute to tooth decay, discolouration and tooth sensitivity.
Foods and drinks that are non-acidic and don’t contribute to dental erosion include fruits such as bananas, mangoes, papayas and watermelons; cheese; bread; tofu; fish; beans and vegetables such as peas, spinach, broccoli and corn.
What is dental erosion, exactly?
Although the enamel of the teeth is hard, too much exposure to acid can cause it to weaken and demineralise. When minerals are lost in the teeth, erosion and decay can occur. Some of the common signs of tooth erosion include sensitivity to hot and cold foods, as well as very sweet foods and drinks; tooth discolouration as the enamel thins over time; cracked teeth; and transparency around the edges of the teeth as the underlying dentin is exposed.
How can dental erosion be prevented?
It can be helpful to cut back on highly acidic foods and drinks in order to prevent tooth erosion from occurring. Try and eat a balanced diet, and take care to incorporate non-acidic foods into your eating plan. If you eat an acidic fruit, try snacking on a small piece of cheese afterwards as this raises the pH levels in the mouth and promotes the production of saliva, which helps to neutralise acids.
If you enjoy the occasional glass of fruit juice, use a straw so that your teeth don’t come in direct contact with the acidic beverage. It’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water after eating acidic foods like citrus fruits as this helps to dilute the acids in the mouth. Also, be sure to wait around half an hour before brushing your teeth after an acidic snack so that your enamel has time to settle.
Another great way to keep your enamel strong is to use fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride works by strengthening the enamel and helps to prevent issues like dental erosion and tooth decay.
How can we help?
We encourage all of our patients to come in and see us every six months or so for a check-up. If you have any concerns about the condition of your enamel or your oral health in general, our team is available to help.
At Crookes & Jenkins, we offer a range of preventative treatments designed to keep your teeth healthy and strong. For a full list of the treatments that we offer, please have a look here.
If you would like to make an appointment to see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We look forward to welcoming you to our practice in Rosalie. Our team loves helping our patients maintain their good oral health and beautiful smiles.