More than likely, your dentist has stressed the importance of eating foods that won’t compromise the health of your teeth. You have probably been told to avoid sugary and acidic foods, but you might be unsure as to why ingredients like acids can be harmful to your oral health. The truth is that an acidic diet can weaken teeth and disrupt a healthy oral pH level.
Acid and Your Teeth
Many people associate citrus with acid and while citrus fruits are certainly acidic, they are not the only type of food or beverage to watch out for. Many drinks and foods utilize acids as a flavoring and preservative agent. For instance, sodas and many processed foods contain ascorbic, citric, and phosphoric acid either to preserve the consistency and longevity of an item or to enhance its flavor.
The reason acid is harmful to teeth is due to the fact that it depletes essential minerals from tooth enamel. Made of minerals like calcium, tooth enamel is a protective barrier around teeth that protects the internal structures of a tooth. When minerals are depleted from tooth enamel, teeth can become soft and susceptible to decay and damage. In order to keep tooth enamel strong, it is best to avoid acids whenever possible. Our team strongly encourages our patients to carefully read food and drink labels. If you do drink or eat something acidic, we recommend doing so in moderation and drinking clear water afterwards to dilute acid and rinse away food particles that might soften tooth enamel.
Oral pH and An Acidic Diet
Our mouths are moist, warm environments where bacteria and other pathogens can flourish. When our pH level in our mouths is imbalanced, it can cause irritation and inflammation of soft oral tissue along with other problems that might result in dry mouth and infections. To maintain a healthy pH, we recommend eating a balanced diet low in sugar and acid. You also should drink at least 64 ounces of water throughout the day, thoroughly brush your teeth twice a day, and floss daily.
To schedule a checkup with our dentist, Dr. Richard Sousa, call our office today.