By now we all know sugar and soda are not ideal for a healthy smile, however there are some fruits and other foods that cause cavities as well.
According to an article written by Tim Utton on dailymail.com, "dental erosion in adults due to diet is usually a result of excessive consumption of fruits and fruit juices." Unlike sugar causing tooth decay, erosion of the enamel on teeth is not as widely known about.
What is enamel and why is it important? Enamel is a thin shell around the outside of your tooth and is considered the hardest tissue in the human body. It helps protect the teeth from hot and cold sensitivity as well as chemicals that can cause tooth pain. Although it is very tough, it can chip and wear off. If this happens, you cannot get it back. Crowns, fillings and desensitizer are methods to help protect the teeth if the enamel starts to wear off.
Losing your tooth enamel is a scary thought, considering you can't get it back and you'd have to spend money on treatment to make sure your teeth are back to full health. Here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind to ensure you have a healthy, white smile!
Drinking soda and high sugar juices are okay once in a while. After you're finished, brush your teeth or rinse with mouth wash to help remove the sugars from your teeth. If you don't, the sugars will stick to your teeth and start to cause decay and discoloration. Saliva is helpful to break up food particles but toothpaste and mouthwashes are more effective when it comes to removing the sugars.
The carbonation in soft drinks also causes wear to tooth enamel, so if you drink soda every day, try drinking it through a straw to help eliminate the amount that actually touches your teeth.
In addition to fruit juice containing acids, some fresh fruits contain high amounts of acid as well, such as pineapple, tomatoes, lemons and limes and oranges. The acid causes erosion, so don't suck on these types of fruits for long. Other foods that have high acidity include pizza sauce, pickles, honey and wine. Again, if you choose to consume these, just rinse after or brush your teeth to help lower the acidity level in your mouth.
High-carb foods such as crackers, breads, pastas and chips can also be considered harmful. According to deltadental.com, "Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates and can linger in your mouth and then break down into simple sugars. Bacteria feed on these sugars and produce acid, which causes tooth decay." You don't have to eliminate these foods completely from your diet, just eat them in moderation and be conscious of any food particles that may be sticking to your teeth and causing erosion.
Now I bet you're thinking what CAN I eat without worrying about side effects? You have a lot of options. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yogurt are excellent because they contain a lot of calcium to help strengthen teeth and they also can stick to your teeth and prevent acid from sticking to your teeth.
If you drink a lot of water, be careful with your options. Bottled water is actually acidic and can cause wear, but some towns and cities have fluoride in the water. It might be more beneficial to you to drink tap water than filtered water. Fluoride helps strengthen your teeth from the outside in.
Green tea and black tea is also a great choice to help remove bacteria from your teeth. Along with that, Spry gum and mints are also excellent. Spry products contain xylitol which helps balance the acid levels in your saliva, minimizing the effects of erosion.
MI Paste is also an easy option if you prefer more acidic foods and beverages. It's a toothpaste type paste that helps balance any acidity in your mouth. It's a small tube that can be easily stored in your pocket, purse or desk drawer. After drinking an energy drink, coffee or having some pineapple, rub a pea-sized amount of MI paste on your teeth and voila! your mouth is neutralized.
If you're interested in purchasing any Spry products or MI paste, swing by Glacier Dental and we can help you out!