6 Tips to Protect Your Teeth from Acid
Sugar and snacks aren’t the only things that can harm your teeth. Foods and drinks high in acids can damage your enamel in a process called tooth erosion. Tooth enamel is important because it protects your teeth from cavities, discoloration, pain, and sensitivity, and in extreme cases, tooth loss.
Unlike living cells, enamel can’t grow back so it’s important to take care of your teeth enamel and prevent erosion when you can. This way, your teeth stay sparkling white and healthy. How do you know if it’s acidic? Well, there’s a good chance that if it is citric-flavored, carbonated or sour, then it probably will have some acidic effects on your teeth.
Here are some quick tips to protect your teeth from acid:
1. Don’t consume acidic foods or drinks by themselves. Consume them in a meal or with foods that aren’t acidic.
2. Limit how much carbonated drinks like soda and sport drinks that you consume (wine is also acidic as well). Make them an occasional treat rather than staples to your daily diet. Instead, opt for tea, water, coffee, or milk as a low-acid alternative.
3. Wait an hour to brush your teeth after consuming acidic foods. This lets your saliva naturally break down and wash away the acid on your teeth. Since acids weaken your tooth enamel, it can actually damage your teeth more if you brush them immediately after consuming acidic food because the tooth enamel hasn’t had enough time to let the saliva do its work and recover.
4. Speaking of saliva, chew sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to help produce more saliva to keep the acid under control. Make sure your gum and dental products have the ADA Seal of Acceptance because this means the product is safe and effective.
5. When drinking something acidic, don’t swish it around in your mouth. Drink it through a straw or take small sips and swallow quickly. This prevents the acids from lingering in your mouth.
6. Add dairy to an acidic meal. Daily and other calcium-rich foods help neutralize acidic foods. Drink a glass of milk or have a little bit of cheese after eating acidic foods.