Your teeth are very strong parts of your body. However, they can gradually degrade over time if they are exposed to acid. Most people don’t even realize how much damage acid can cause to their teeth until it is too late. Acid erosion is irreversible so you will need to understand the risks of acid wear and what you need to do to protect your teeth.
You can lessen the damage by eating less acidic foods, rinsing your mouth with fluoridated water and adding more alkaline foods to your diet.
Restrict Acidic Foods
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Dentistry found that eating highly acidic foods caused acid wear in several parts of the mouth. Nearly 1,000 participants in this study were suffering from serious enamel erosion because they ate foods with high levels of acidity. Other follow-up studies confirmed these findings.
You will want to monitor the acidity of the foods you eat. Soft drinks probably have higher pH levels than anything else on the market. Many dentists recommend against drinking soda at all. That advice may be a little strict for you, but you should try to avoid drinking more than two soft drinks a week.
You shouldn’t eliminate fruits from your diet completely, because they contain many essential antioxidants and other nutrients. However, many fruits are also extremely acidic so you will want to be mindful about how many you eat. You may not want to eat more than one piece of citrus fruit a day. A 2008 study found that citrus fruits caused more acid wear than any other type of food except soda. Most berries are also very acidic so you should limit how many you eat.
The bacteria in your mouth have a difficult time breaking down chewy candy. They need to secrete a lot of acid to do so. This acid is very destructive to your teeth so you should reduce the amount of chewy candy that you eat.
Foods to Reverse Acid Damage
Fortunately, there are also some foods that can help reverse acid damage. Here are some that you will want to be aware of:
Most people don’t think gum would be great for their teeth. However, recent studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum can increase saliva production which helps neutralize many acids. It can also add calcium to your teeth to make them more acid resistant.
Water will help wash away bacteria and acid. Another benefit of drinking water is that it has fluoride to help strengthen your teeth. Drinking alkaline water is one of the best ways to reverse acidity. Most foods don’t have enough alkaline properties to reverse acidity so this water can have be very helpful. You can find more alkaline water at many online retailers.
Dairy products have high levels of both calcium and casein. Recent studies have shown that these minerals help repair enamel and make it more acid resistant.
Fiber rich foods
Fiber rich foods require a lot of chewing. Ironically, this chewing is actually good for your teeth, because it helps increase saliva production. This in turn helps neutralize any acids in your mouth.
Avoid Brushing Your Teeth After Eating Acidic Foods
Many people immediately brush their teeth after they drink soda or eat acidic foods. Unfortunately, they may actually be making acid damage worse. Your enamel has softened and will wear away when you brush.
You should instead rinse the acids away with water. Rinsing with fluoridated water is better, because it helps strengthen enamel.
About the Author: Kalen is a health and wellness writer. He shares tips about nutrition and fitness.