What Are Acidic Drinks and Why Are They So Bad for Your Teeth
There are many ways your diet can help or hurt the health of your teeth. In fact, we talked about foods that could do both in recent blog posts. However, we also want to stress that it is not just what you eat that can affect the health of your teeth and gums – it is also what you drink. Read on to learn about the trouble with acidic drinks and why you should avoid them.
What makes acidic drinks so bad for your teeth?
Any drink you indulge in that has a low pH level can cause serious issues for your health in general and specifically for your teeth. In part, the issue is that they eat away at your tooth’s enamel. Remember that tooth enamel is actually the hardest substance in your entire body, but it is still not a match for acidic drinks or foods. Over time, these drinks can break down enamel and expose the dentin that is under them.
Once this has happened, there are a few issues to be concerned about. First, dentin is yellow and the thinner your enamel is, the more the dentin will show through. Second, having exposed dentin makes your teeth extremely sensitive. Dentin is not meant to be exposed to chemical and other materials. A person who has sensitive teeth, toothaches, and / or accelerated tooth decay may find that these are partially caused by acidic drinks breaking down the enamel and allowing the dentin to be exposed.
Noting which drinks are acidic
If you want to protect your enamel and keep your teeth as safe as possible then we recommend you avoid these common acidic beverages: Carboned drunks (even diet or sugar-free options), fruit juice (especially citrus), wine, and liquor. We are not saying to never drink these, but try to do so sparingly.
What to do if you do drink acidic drinks
When you are going to enjoy an acidic drink, use a straw. This moves the liquid to the back of your throat and gives it less contact with your enamel. We also recommend brushing your teeth after drinking something with damaging acid. However, you should wait about an hour after drinking it to brush. Why? Because acid softens your teeth temporarily, which means that if you brush right after drinking the acidic thing, you could damage your teeth further. Likewise, be sure not to brush too hard, as it can damage the enamel.
Has your enamel been damaged?
If you are worried that your enamel has been damaged then the best thing to do is to schedule a dental exam and cleaning. It is the best way to find out for sure what state your teeth are in and what you can do to improve your oral health. There may be preventative things we can do to help improve your teeth as well. Call California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 today to get started.