Why Worry About Acidic Foods?
When you consume acidic foods, they can cause irreversible harm to the tooth’s enamel. Once the acids in these foods or drinks make contact with the enamel, they weaken and erode the enamel. Once that enamel is lost, it does not grow back or regenerate.
Acids in these foods and drinks will demineralize the enamel. This means that the enamel is deprived of minerals that help to strengthen the tooth. This demineralization causes weakening of the enamel and makes it prone to wear. If you consume acidic foods regularly or often throughout the day, the process is accelerated because the teeth do not have enough time to remineralize or heal.
Brushing right after eating acidic foods can also accelerate this process since the enamel is in a weakened state from acid exposure.
Examples of Acidic Foods
Many of us think about grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes when we are asked to think about something that is acidic in nature, due to their citric acid. There are other foods that are acidic as well that we may not think about. Here are examples of foods and drinks that are acidic in nature as well:
- Vinaigrette salad dressings
- Certain teas
- Pickled products
- Products made with tomatoes (sauces, ketchup, salsa, etc)
- Hot sauce
- Red and white wines
- Sodas or colas
- Certain candies
Protect Your Teeth
It is very hard to completely eliminate certain foods from your diet, especially when that food is healthy and nutritious. If you cannot eliminate certain foods from your diet, limiting their consumption will also help to reduce the amount of acid exposure to your teeth.
You can also try to rinse your mouth with water after eating a meal that is acidic. Rinse your mouth vigorously and thoroughly with water to wash away the acid residue left behind. Thicker foods like salsas or ketchup may be hard to wash away by drinking water alone.
Try to eat acidic foods with your main meals and not as snacks. When you eat these foods with your regular meals, the saliva can help to wash away and remineralize the enamel. You can also try to eat all your acidic foods at once, instead of throughout the day. This gives your teeth a chance to remineralize for the rest of the day.
Eating foods such as milk, eggs, yogurt, cheese can help to remineralize and strengthen the teeth.
Food is meant to be enjoyed, just remember to follow these tips to ensure that your smile stays strong and healthy.