You might already be aware that sugary foods and drinks can lead to cavities and gum disease. But acidic foods and drinks are just as much of a problem for your teeth too. What’s more, some of these acidic items are good for you, however, you should be aware of them when consuming them and know how to counter them.
Common Acidic Foods And Beverages
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, limes, and the juices of these fruits are all healthy but extremely acidic. That doesn’t mean you should stop eating them though. Dentists recommend you enjoy them with a glass of water to keep them from destroying your enamel.
Other acidic foods and drinks that you should watch out for are:
- Cranberries (even the dried variety)
- Tomato-based pasta sauces
- Hot sauce
How They Destroy Your Smile
With damage from acids in the things you eat and drink, your enamel wears away. This can reveal discolored teeth. Weakened tooth enamel is a sign of demineralization which leaves the dentin in your teeth exposed and incredibly sensitive.
You might think you’re doing yourself a favor by brushing right after that morning coffee or orange juice, but that causes more harm than good. Foods and drinks that have a low pH soften the enamel so when you brush too soon after having them, you speed up the wearing of your teeth before that enamel settles back down again. Too much demineralization can also lead to tooth decay which will most certainly ruin a good smile.
Another way you’re harming your smile through acidic foods and drinks is by holding them in your mouth before you swallow them. You should eat these items without letting them linger.
What You Can Do To Counter Acidic Foods And Beverages
In addition to swallowing your acidic foods and drinks more promptly, you should balance them with foods that rank higher on the pH scale. Things like nuts and cheese will not only complement your wine but also help protect your enamel. Oatmeal is a great breakfast item that can balance out your morning grapefruit. Eggs, fish, lean meats, brown rice, apples, bananas, and melons are other foods you can eat alongside the acidic foods you like to bring more balance to your mouth. They work to neutralize acids in your already-acidic saliva which adds calcium and phosphorus to restore minerals in your teeth.
It’s always a good idea to follow your meals with a glass of water. Wait about 20 minutes after a meal to brush your teeth to avoid doing any harm to the enamel too. And of course, don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year to keep your smile in perfect order too!
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Jennifer Raskin is a freelance writer, wife and mom that loves cold weather despite her location in Florida, cooking, reading, watching ‘80s movies, weight-lifting, and wine tasting.