Protect your teeth: Foods that cause acid enamel erosion

Enamel plays a vital part in protecting our teeth. This tough substance – the hardest substance on the body – forms the outside of each tooth.

If enamel is damaged is can eventually lead to tooth decay. As there is no way to repair tooth enamel it is important that we take care of our teeth.

What is acid erosion?

Acid erosion occurs on teeth when certain foods with a high acid content – or sugary foods – come into contact with the teeth temporarily softening the surface.

Saliva acts as a natural remedy to this, restoring the natural ph balance. However, repeated acid attacks on the teeth compromise the body’s natural ability to neutralise acid in the mouth and the acid in food and drinks can start to damage enamel.

If acid enamel erosion becomes a problem the protective surface of the tooth begins to wear away exposing the dentine below. This can cause the teeth to appear yellow in colour and can lead to pain and sensitivity when eating.

Foods that can cause acid enamel erosion

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fruit juice
  • Citrus fruits
  • Wine
  • Tomatoes
  • Coffee
  • Pickles
  • Sweets
  • Berries – cranberries and blueberries

All foods with a high acidity level can be problematic for teeth. While many of them are best avoided (sweets and fizzy drinks certainly), others have health merits of their own. To minimise the effect of acid on teeth it is best that acidic foods are eaten as part of a meal, rather than as a snack to minimise acid attacks on the enamel.

It is also advisable to drink water after consuming an acidic food or drink to help to wash away the acid.

Brushing teeth after eating will also help but it is important to leave a gap of up to an hour after eating acidic food as brushing when the surface is already weakened could cause further damage.

If you have any concerns about decay contact Bhandal Dental Practice today.