It’s no secret that sweets and constant snacking is not good for teeth. Yet, sugar is not the only dietary substance to be concerned about. Mouth Healthy reports that foods and beverages high in acid pose a great risk to tooth enamel, as it wears away the protective coating of teeth in a process called dental erosion. While this alters the appearances of teeth over time, it also makes teeth vulnerable to the effects of bacteria, leading to tooth decay, cavities and severe infection. With this in mind, dental professionals urge patients to commit to good oral care at home and regular dental visits, along with a balanced diet to preserve oral health.
Perhaps the most unfortunate fact regarding dental erosion is that it is permanent. Thus, once tooth enamel begins to wear away, there’s no way to replace what has been lost. However, there are many options to restore teeth and prevent further damage.
What To Eat And What Not To Eat
As a rule, if you regularly consume citrus-flavored foods and drinks, whether they are carbonated or sour, it’s wise to limit the amount. Why? Acidic foods, even those that are nutritious such as tomatoes and fruits, contain acids that eat away at tooth enamel. The same is true for dried fruits. In fact, because they tend to stick to the surfaces of teeth, dried fruits continue to wreak havoc on tooth enamel long after an individual has eaten them. Even so, the greatest threat to teeth continues to be soda, and this includes sports drinks. It’s important to understand that in moderation, or when consumed along with a meal, these foods and beverages are okay. They are most damaging when consumed alone.
Protecting Your Teeth
Though tooth enamel cannot be rebuilt, there are many tips for protecting one’s teeth and reducing the effects of dental erosion. Consider the following:
- Wait an hour before brushing after eating acidic foods or drinking acidic beverages (this allows saliva to neutralize the acids and wash them away naturally).
- When drinking a soda, do not swish it around in your mouth. Simply sip and swallow.
- Following an acidic meal, drink a glass of water or milk, or eat a slice of cheese. Calcium-rich foods neutralize acids.
- Chew sugarless gum to promote saliva production. Saliva plays an important role of washing away harmful acids and bacteria.
- Commit to regular dental visits!
At Gramercy Dental Center, we understand that the health of one’s mouth is a key indicator of their overall health and well-being. That’s why we encourage patients to not only commit to regular dental checkups, but to adhere to a healthy diet that is full of vitamins and minerals. What’s more—our team supports patients every step of the way. To experience optimal patient care and comprehensive dentistry in one convenient location in the city, call Gramercy Dental Center today.
Posted on behalf of Gramercy Dental Center