Sugar is not the only dietary factor causing erosion of our valuable tooth enamel. Acidic foods and beverages are also responsible for reducing valuable tooth enamel from your teeth. Tooth erosion is permanent; it can even cause increased sensitivity to hot or cold beverages. The chart below represents levels of acidity in common beverages we are consuming daily.
Many sports drinks, vitamin water, sodas and juices are acidic. Even if they’re sugar free the acid will cause enamel erosion when in contact for extended periods of time. It’s best to limit how much of these beverages you consume throughout the day.
If you must consume acidic beverages, we have a few tips for you. Use a straw when possible and don’t swish the beverage around in your mouth. This limits the direct contact of acid with tooth enamel. Also, don’t brush your teeth right away after consuming acidic foods or drinks. By brushing teeth with enamel on them, you can actually wear away some of the enamel. It’s best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Always use a soft toothbrush. Rinsing with water is a good idea as it neutralizes the acid content in your mouth.
Drinking Water is great for Tooth Enamel
Water is great at neutralizing acid and it dissolves sugar as well. Most damage to enamel is caused when acidic or sugary substances stay on teeth for extended periods of time (i.e. 5, 10 or 20 minutes.) By rinsing with water or drinking water the acid can be immediately neutralized and sugar can be dissolved so as not to harm enamel. After eating candy it’s recommended to drink some water to minimize the possible harm of getting new cavities.
Water is also extremely important for people’s overall health. Studies find that most Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dr. Peter Mann’s suggestion is to always start the day by consuming a few cups of water. Although he probably will have a cup of coffee first when waking up. Water removes toxins from your body. It is the healthiest beverage we can consume in large amounts on a daily basis.
Maintaining healthy Tooth Enamel
Visit your dentist every 6 months for a routine check-up and cleaning. The dentist will evaluate your enamel and give your additional tips to keep your teeth strong, functional and looking pretty.