Most people know that sugar is bad for their teeth but I am often surprised at how many aren’t aware that there are other dangers for their teeth in their diet.
Acids can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Acid wear to your teeth is called dental erosion. Dental erosion is an irreversible wear process whereby acids from extrinsic (eg foods and drinks and even the environment) and intrinsic (stomach acids from reflux) can remove tooth structure.
This tooth structure once lost is irreversible and cannot be replaced. It can cause sensitive teeth and can reduce the height of your teeth and therefore affect the appearance of your smile. It may even make bonding fillings and other restorative dental materials difficult to adhere.
Prevention is always better than a cure and you can take simple steps to reduce your risk of dental erosion.
- Limit acidic foods and drinks eg. Soft drinks and carbonated water, wine, citrus fruits including lemon juice in water, tomatoes, vinegars (inc apple cider vinegar) etc
- If you have acidic foods or drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards to help neturalise the pH in your mouth and follow this with chewing sugar free chewing gum to help stimulate your saliva flow
- Address any intrinsic causes of reflux. If you find you have a lot of reflux get this checked with your GP
Healthy foods for your teeth include many dairy products, plain milk (unflavoured), cheese and natural yogurt, vegetables, nuts and proteins. Also be sure to read the ingredients panel on food products as many can contain hidden sugars.
It’s also important to limit snacking between meals as this allows your mouth to recover from acid attacks from eating and help neutralise any acids.
And healthiest of all, remember to drink plenty of water. Tap water is fluoridate and healthy for your teeth and contains no calories!!!