How to Prevent Acidic Foods and Drinks from Harming Your Teeth

acidic-foods-drinks-teethMany foods and beverages contain acid that can cause damage to tooth enamel. Acid causes erosion of enamel, which can lead to discoloration. It can also cause demineralization that exposes the dentin inside teeth and makes them sensitive to heat, cold, and certain foods.

Acidic Foods and Drinks That Can Cause Tooth Enamel Erosion

Many common foods contain high levels of acid. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits, are highly acidic. Other acidic foods and drinks include pickles, cranberries, tomato products, coffee, and wine.

How to Avoid Damage from Acidic Foods and Drinks

If you eat acidic foods, it is usually a good idea to brush your teeth soon after, but not immediately. Acidic foods and beverages soften tooth enamel. Brushing right away can wear away the enamel before it has a chance to re-strengthen. Demineralization can eventually lead to tooth decay.

There are ways to still enjoy these foods and beverages while minimizing the damage they cause to your tooth enamel. Try to eat acidic foods along with less acidic ones. Some good non-acidic foods include cheese, nuts, oatmeal, vegetables, mangos, melons, apples, bananas, brown rice, whole grains, and eggs. Fish and lean meat have low levels of acid and can help protect tooth enamel by neutralizing acid in saliva and providing calcium and phosphorous to remineralize teeth.

Drink plenty of water so saliva can remove acid from your mouth. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to repair your tooth enamel and help with remineralization. Fluoride mouthwash can also help prevent dental erosion. Floss once a day to remove food particles from between your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum can increase saliva production, neutralize acid, and help keep your teeth healthy.

Schedule an Appointment for a Dental Exam and Cleaning

You should visit your dentist twice a year to have your teeth cleaned and to look for early signs of erosion or decay. Your dentist may recommend dietary changes to protect your teeth from erosion. If you are due for an exam or cleaning, make an appointment with Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

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Drinking Water Can Help Protect Your Teeth

water-protect-teethDrinking water has several health benefits for many parts of the body, including the mouth. In fact, plain tap water is often the best beverage you can choose for your oral health. There are several reasons why you should reach for a glass of water instead of another beverage.

Fluoride in Tap Water Can Help Prevent Cavities

Water with fluoride can help you avoid tooth decay. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent cavities. Many public water supplies across the United States have fluoride, but bottled water often does not. This is why the best choice could be water straight from the tap.

Water Washes away Leftover Food Particles and Acid

Drinking water can help keep your mouth clean. Water washes away food particles that are left on and between your teeth after meals and snacks. Other beverages, such as juice, soda, and energy drinks, can leave sugar behind on your teeth that can lead to cavities. These beverages often contain acid that can wear away tooth enamel and lead to cavities. Water dilutes the acid in your mouth and can reduce the risk of decay. However, drinking water is no substitute for brushing and flossing every day.

Drinking Water Helps Your Mouth Produce Saliva

Saliva is your body’s natural method of preventing tooth decay. It washes away leftover food particles, helps you swallow, and bathes your teeth in calcium, phosphate, and fluoride that helps keep teeth strong. If your mouth is dry and you don’t have enough saliva, you are at increased risk for tooth decay. Drinking water can keep your mouth hydrated so you produce enough saliva to protect your teeth.

Make an Appointment for a Dental Exam and Cleaning

Drinking water with meals and snacks can help you wash away food particles and strengthen your teeth to prevent cavities. Of course, you should still brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day to get rid of any leftover food that water does not wash away. You should also visit a dentist for exams and cleanings. If you are due for a dental exam or cleaning, make an appointment at Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut today.

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Cold Medicine Can Contribute to Cavities

cold-medicine-cavitiesFall will be starting soon, and that means that cold season is right around the corner. When people get sick, they often reach for over-the-counter medicines to relieve their symptoms. One side effect of liquid cold medicines that people generally do not think about is the risk of cavities.

How Cold Medicine Can Cause Tooth Decay

Many liquid cold medicines and cough drops contain ingredients that can lead to cavities. High fructose corn syrup and sucrose in the medicine can contribute to tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars and form acids that can wear away tooth enamel.

Cold medicines often contain citric acid that can wear away tooth enamel. Some antihistamine syrups are high in acid and have a low pH that can be harmful to teeth.

Some liquid cold medicines have alcohol added. This can dry out the tissues in the mouth. With less saliva, the sugars and acids will not be washed away from the teeth, which can increase the chance of developing tooth decay.

The risk of cavities is greatest if cold medicine is taken at bedtime. This can be just as harmful to teeth as drinking soda or juice before going to bed. Since people produce less saliva while sleeping, sugar and acid are in contact with the teeth for hours at a time, which can lead to tooth decay.

How to Protect Your Teeth If You Need to Take Cold Medicine

You can reduce the risk of cavities by taking liquid cold medicine at mealtimes, rather than at bedtime. This will reduce the effects of the sugars and acids. Brushing your teeth, rinsing with water, or chewing sugar-free gum after taking medicine can protect your teeth from decay. You can also take calcium supplements or use a topical fluoride treatment after you take medicine. If possible, take a pill form of the medicine to protect your teeth from decay.

Make an Appointment to Get a Cavity Filled or Have Your Teeth Cleaned

If you are concerned that you might have a cavity, you should see a dentist as soon as possible to get it treated before it gets worse. Fried Dentistry in Wallingford, Connecticut can examine your teeth, take x-rays, and treat your cavity. You can also schedule an appointment for a routine exam and cleaning to help you prevent decay. Make an appointment at Fried Dentistry today.

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