How Acidic Foods Affect Teeth and What You Can Do
We all know that what we eat affects the health of our pearly whites, which is why we need to be careful with our chosen diet. Food items that have low pH levels can get in the way of weight loss and overall health. Also, these acidic foods affect teeth enamel negatively.
Common Food Items with Low pH Levels
As healthy as they are, citrus fruits and fruit juices generally have a low pH. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes, and the likes can hurt when they come in direct contact with your teeth.
Other popular food items known for their low pH levels include:
- Tomato products (ketchup, salsa, pasta sauce, hot sauce)
- Sweeteners (sugar, maple syrup, etc.)
- Condiments (mayonnaise, soy sauce, vinegar)
- Hard and processed cheeses
- Coffee, and
Basically, darker sodas and high-phosphorus drinks such as beer or hot chocolate made from packets of cocoa mix should be avoided. Proteins and sugar are acid-producing foods that also need to be monitored for overall health.
Acidic Foods Affect Teeth Negatively
The acids in these food items can cause the tooth enamel to soften and erode. In turn, enamel erosion will result to discoloured teeth. With the tooth enamel worn away, this leaves the dentin exposed and the teeth become more sensitive.
How to Avoid these Negative Effects
While brushing after a meal is generally recommended, doing so right after consuming acidic foods should be avoided. Noting that acid softens the enamel, brushing will speed up wear. Allow the enamel time to settle again before you brush your teeth.
Also, to avoid any detrimental effects on the enamel, make sure you consume citrus fruits with water and use a straw when drinking fruit juices.
To limit the risks for demineralization, eat a more balanced diet. When you eat acidic foods, also incorporate foods that have a higher pH level or alkaline-producing foods, such as fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats. These neutralize acids in the saliva and provide calcium and phosphorus needed to maintain the minerals in the teeth.
Knowing which acidic foods affect teeth and monitoring our food intake are just initial steps in taking care of our choppers. To further ensure a healthy and beautiful smile, make sure you observe proper dental hygiene along with regular visits to the dentist.