Acidic foods can erode the tooth enamel, which can lead to deep decay and problems with gum infections. Therefore, it is important to avoid eating acidic foods, or making sure you eat a healthy balance of foods to maintain a healthy pH in the mouth.
What Do Acidic Foods Do to the Teeth?
Foods that contain sugar are not the only foods that can damage the teeth. Beverages and foods that contain a high acid content wear away the enamel that protects the teeth as well. When this happens, the bad bacteria in the mouth that causes decay and infections builds up and also enters the spaces below the gum line. When the enamel starts to wear away, you may feel sensitivity or pain when consuming sweets and hot or cold foods, or notice discoloration. You may also find that your fillings have changed or, in some rare instances, develop an abscess.
How to Acidic Foods and Drinks
If you eat nutritious acidic foods, such as citrus fruits or tomatoes, eat them as part of your meal, not by themselves. Remember, the acids that are produced by decay-causing bacteria can continue to damage the teeth long after you stop eating or drinking a food. That is why you need to rinse the mouth with water after you eat foods or drink liquids with a higher acid content. Also, if you drink soda or soft drinks, beware. The carbonation in the drink, whether or not it contains sugar, raises the acid level in the beverage. Don[[[char:39]]]t drink any acidic beverages, such as citrus-flavored sodas or fruits juices every day. Instead, only drink them occasionally.
Protecting Your Gums and Teeth
If you eat any acidic foods, wait about an hour to brush your teeth. Otherwise, brushing right after you consume the food can worsen any problems with erosion. When drinking an acidic beverage only sip and swallow it. Preferably use a straw. Don[[[char:39]]]t swish the drink in your mouth or allow the liquid to linger. Always use any dental products with the ADA seal of acceptance.
It also helps to have your gum health evaluated. Schedule an appointment with us to arrange an exam and consultation.