Protect your Smile: Know these things about acidic drinks and teeth

erosion of teeth

The health and appearance of our teeth depend a lot on our diet and lifestyle choices. The nature of the food we consume, whether basic or acidic, can have an impact on our teeth. In this blog, we will discuss more on what acidic foods are, the relation between acidic drinks and teeth and what you can do to prevent the damage. Stay tuned to the end of the blog to find out about highly-effective products to reverse the damage caused due to acidic foods.

What are Acidic Foods?

To understand the relationship between acidic foods and teeth, let's first try to understand what acidic food means. The nature of food is measured on a pH scale which has 14 points. Anything ranging between 1 (highly acidic) to 6 (least acidic) is termed acidic. pH level 7 is neutral and foods ranging between 8-14 are Alkaline in nature. This means that the lower the pH number, the worse the effects of that food on our teeth.

Acidic food causes eventual erosion of the teeth as it wears down the enamel- a white-coloured natural barrier that protects the teeth. The enamel is one of the major tissues that make up the tooth and acidic food slowly weakens this layer. This makes the tooth more vulnerable to erosion and breakage.

How Do Acidic Foods Harm Our Teeth

Having a lot of acidic food and drinks without taking proper preventive measures can have a negative impact on our oral health. Here’s a list of issues that you might face if you consume too much acidic food.

  • Sensitive teeth- Sharp pain whenever you eat or drink something hot or cold
  • Discolouration or yellowing of teeth
  • Vulnerability to cavities
  • Changes in dental fillings
  • Development of abscess or even tooth loss in extreme cases.

Acidic Foods You Need To Avoid

If you are wondering what foods and drinks you should stay away from for better oral health, you have come to the right place. Some of these foods are a part of our daily diet, so take note of them and refer to the preventive measures below to protect your teeth while still enjoying your favourite food.

  • Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, gooseberries and grapefruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Vinegar
  • Candies and sour snacks
  • Alcohol
  • Tea and Coffee

How To Protect Your Teeth While Consuming Acidic Foods?

Before you re-consider eliminating all these things from your diet, let us tell you that you can still eat and drink your favourite foods in moderation with a little bit of precaution. Following these preventive measures will limit the effects of acid on your teeth and hence, prevent erosion of teeth.

1. Use a straw

Instead of sipping your acidic drinks, you can use a straw to minimise contact with your teeth. You should also avoid holding the drink in your mouth longer than necessary and drink it right away.

2. Don’t brush immediately after

While it may seem like a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic, it is best not to. Saliva is naturally excellent at strengthening the teeth and limiting the effects of acid on the teeth. So allow the saliva to work its magic and wait for at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth.

3. Rinse your mouth

Water is neutral in nature and rinsing your mouth with it can wash away the lingering acid on your teeth.

4. Pair them with meals

Avoid eating or drinking acidic foods by themselves. Instead consume them with a meal to minimise their contact with teeth.

5. Chew sugar-free gum

Chewing on sugar-free gum produces more saliva in the mouth which neutralises the acids.

6. Follow proper oral hygiene practices

Make sure to floss and brush regularly. Do pay your dentist a visit for routine checkups and cleanups.

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Can acidic foods result in tooth decay?

Yes, according to a study by the Academy of General Dentistry, Chicago, acidic foods and beverages are the leading cause of tooth decay.

What is worse for teeth? Sugar or acid?

Experts share that foods and drinks with high acidic levels are worse for the teeth than sugar.

Does milk help prevent erosion of teeth due to acidic food?

The pH value of milk is close to 7 which means it can neutralise the effect of acids on the teeth and prevent their discolouration and weakening.

Is curd good or bad for teeth?

Curd makes the mouth less acidic, making it teeth-friendly. It can even neutralise the effect of acids in your mouth.

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