Why You Should Watch Out For Acid’s Effect On Your Teeth

citrus fruits

You’re probably familiar with lots of the major threats to your oral health – with plaque and tartar build-up joining gingivitis as some of the more well-known examples. However, demineralisation tends to get a lot less press – which isn’t good, because it’s just as much of a threat to your teeth as gingivitis! In many cases, acidic foods and drinks are often to blame for demineralisation, which can have some very big consequences.

What Is Demineralisation And Why Does It Happen?

In short, your teeth really don’t like acid. While they can deal with it in moderation, too much of it can wear away your tooth enamel; the protective layer on your teeth that shields the sensitive dentine underneath. (It’s also what causes your teeth to become gradually discoloured.) Eventually, the enamel can become completely worn away, which can lead to painful tooth sensitivity. Once this process has occurred, it’s also notoriously tricky to reverse, which makes it all the more important to keep yourself aware of how much acidic food and drink you’re consuming on a daily basis. Even apparently healthy foods can be harmful if not eaten in moderation!

Particularly acidic foods and drinks include:

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruits
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Cranberries
  • Pickles
  • Tomato products (like tomato sauce)
  • Coffee
  • Wine

You might be thinking my word, that’s quite a lot – so what should I eat instead? Well actually, obviously we’re not suggesting you stop consuming these altogether, just be mindful of how much you’re having at once. The real questions is: how can you reduce the effect of acid on your teeth?

What You Can Do To Prevent It

drinking water good for teeth

One of the easiest ways to neutralise the worst effects that acid can have on your teeth is simply to drink plenty of water alongside them. Simple, but effective! You may well be doing this anyway simply by drinking with your meals. Another good idea is to eat foods alongside them that have naturally lower acid levels. In terms of food, this includes nuts, cheese, oatmeal, mangoes, melons, bananas, apples, eggs, brown rice (and similar whole grains), and various vegetables – almost none of which have serious levels of acid in them. Meanwhile when it comes to drinks, you’ll want to opt for tap water, black tea and milk as often as you can.

Brushing your teeth is naturally a good action to take, but it’s important not to do it too soon after you eat. When dealing with acid, your teeth are temporarily weaker, so if you brush them during this time what you’re actually doing is actively brushing away your vulnerable enamel. Instead, give yourself at least half an hour after every meal for it to recover itself. A good trick that many dentists recommend is to eat a small cube of cheese after every meal. It neutralises the acids in your mouth, protecting your teeth from decay.

And don’t forget – see your dentist twice a year for routine check-ups. We’re always happy to see you! You can also take advantage of the variety of core dentistry services we offer, which includes keeping your gum health in check. Just pop into our Blackburn dental clinic to see what we can do for you!

Posted on: 19th Mar, 2018