Who does not like warm water mixed with lemon or apple cider vinegar? Right, we have heard it all on the internet that it helps boost metabolism and reduces weight. While few go for these DIY water and some prefer their cup of tea or coffee to wake up in the morning. But have you ever wondered if it helps your teeth?  These drinks do more damage than providing benefits when excessively used in an improper way. 

In the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, we often focus on the impact of our food choices on our overall well-being. While we diligently consider factors like calorie count and nutritional value, one crucial aspect tends to slip under the radar – the effect of acidic foods and beverages on our dental health. Let’s explore the relationship between acidic foods and tooth erosion in detail along with the tips that might help in preventing tooth erosion. 

What leads to tooth erosion while consuming acidic foods and beverages?

Maintaining the health of your enamel is essential for having healthy teeth because it is the hard, outer layer that covers your teeth. However, extremely acidic food and beverages can erode enamel. How do you defend your enamel by fighting tooth and nail? Maintaining a strong and healthy smile will require you to be aware of the foods and beverages that can weaken tooth enamel as well as taking steps to stop acid erosion on teeth.

How does acidic foods or beverages contribute to tooth erosion affecting the teeth?

Understanding the foods and beverages considered acidic: 

Let’s define acidic first. The pH scale, which has 14 points, is used to measure the acidity level of a particular food or beverage. All food and beverages have a value between 1 (very acidic) and 14 (very alkaline), with 7 being the acidic range. To help you visualize how this works in real life, consider that eggs have a pH of 7, coffee usually black has a pH of 5, and lemon juice is a 2.

Generally speaking, the worse something is for your teeth, the lower on the pH scale it is. However, why is it harmful?

The off-white or white material called enamel that serves as a barrier to protect your teeth is eroded by acidic foods and beverages. OThis strong outer layer of defense is one of the four main tissues that comprise the tooth. Acidic foods and drinks gradually erode tooth enamel, making teeth more susceptible to harm and erosion. 

Tooth enamel cannot be ignored due to its permanent nature. The enamel cannot be replaced. Once erosion begins, you may need to have a number of dental procedures done in order to repair the damage to your teeth or prevent it from getting worse.

What are the signs that might indicate tooth erosion?

Although tooth erosion signs may not show immediately, but prolonged consumption of acidic foods and beverages along with not following basic preventive measures may lead to tooth erosion, the common signs of tooth erosion include:

  • Tooth pain
  • Visible discoloration of the teeth
  • High chances of cavities
  • Tooth sensitivity 
  • Loss of teeth

In case you are noticing any of these signs, consult the Best Dentists in Coimbatore to prevent any damage to the teeth and restore their quality.

What are the steps to prevent tooth erosion caused by acidic foods and beverages?

The only sure shot way to prevent tooth erosion and protect tooth enamel is to avoid or limit the intake of acidic foods. Here are the best tips that might help in protecting tooth enamel and avoid tooth erosion include:

Use a straw:

Using straw can help in avoiding contact with teeth and the acidic foods this can help in preventing any damage to the tooth enamel. 

Pair acidic foods with water:

Rinse the acid from your mouth by drinking a glass of water after an acidic meal.

Do not brush immediately:

Brushing your teeth right away after an acidic beverage may seem counterintuitive, but it actually causes more harm than good. Saliva is the enamel’s natural protector, and it may take up to an hour to work before brushing. 

Pair acidic foods with meals:

Consuming acidic foods as part of a complete meal as opposed to a snack aids in neutralizing the acid and lessens its contact with your teeth.

Practice healthy dental hygiene routine:

A regular dental exam, along with brushing and flossing, is always a great way to support oral health. 

How to find out if the foods are acidic and that might lead to tooth erosion?

Finding out if the food and beverages you’re consuming are acidic is the first step in answering the question, “How can I prevent acidic tooth erosion on my teeth?” Acidic substances have a PH of less than 7, however it might be challenging to know how this impacts the things you eat. Here are a few things to be mindful of:  

Fizz: 

A drink is probably acidic if it has bubbles. Carbonated drinks and sodas are prime examples. 

If it is fermented:

Foods that have undergone fermentation turn acidic, so items like pickles or pickled vegetables will be harsh on your teeth. 

Fruits:

Including a range of fruits and vegetables in your diet is a fantastic method to maintain your health. However, because they frequently contain citric acid, fruits are frequently high-acid foods.

Important Takeaway:

By understanding the mechanisms at play and implementing proactive oral care measures, individuals can preserve the integrity of their enamel and enjoy a radiant, healthy smile for years to come. Tooth erosion is a silent adversary, but armed with knowledge and a commitment to oral health, we can shield our teeth from its erosive grasp. Book an appointment with one of the Best Dental Hospitals in Coimbatore, to seek immediate care for tooth erosion or related teeth problems.

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By SARAH