How Acid Affects Your Teeth

We all know that sugar isn't good for our teeth. But what about the harmful effects of acid on our pearly whites? Acid can cause your teeth to lose enamel, which protects them from decay. Citric acid is found in various beverages, from fruit juices to sodas and sports drinks. But the worst offender is energy drinks, like Red Bull and Monster.

No AcidThe best way to prevent enamel erosion is to avoid consuming acidic foods and beverages. But there are steps you can take to lessen the acid impact of those items. This article from CBS News offers tips on minimizing the damage from acid:

  • Timing consumption: Eating acidic foods as part of a meal helps neutralize and eliminate acids. The worst time to consume acidic foods is just before bedtime, because saliva production decreases during sleep. Saliva helps neutralize and dilute acids.
  • Drinking right: Using a straw for soda or juice helps minimize contact with the teeth. Drinking quickly -- not sipping over long periods -- also helps reduce the effects of acid on tooth enamel.
  • Neutralizing: After consuming acidic food or drink, swishing with water or a fluoride rinse could help neutralize the acid.
  • Timing your brushing: Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste 30 minutes before consuming acidic foods or drink is most beneficial. Brushing immediately afterward should be avoided.

Avoiding acidic foods and beverages can be good for your overall health. Taking the right steps to protect your teeth will help prevent enamel erosion. And that's something to smile about!

Photo Credit: We Need Signs and Well for Living

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  1. […] to the American Dental Association, "Saliva washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, […]