If you are what you eat, that’s even more true for your teeth and gums. Drinking and eating starchy or sugary foods, means you’re not only feeding yourself, you’re also feeding the germs (bacteria) that can cause tooth decay and gum disease in your mouth. When we think of bad foods for our teeth, we instantly think of candy and soft drink. Did you know however that some of our ‘healthy’ food and drink choices could be doing as much damage?
Below are some symptoms of tooth erosion to be mindful of and a list of food and drinks you should avoid to keep your teeth healthy.
Signs of Acid Teeth Erosion
When the enamel on your teeth begins to wear away, you may notice uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
- Sensitivity in the teeth when you eat or drink hot or cold consumables
- Changes in the color of your fillings
- Discoloration of the teeth, which will likely turn yellow
In extreme cases, you may lose a tooth or develop an abscess when tooth erosion gets bad. You may need to get dental treatment for cavities or root issues, or talk to one of our friendly dentists at Riversdale Dental in Camberwell about veneers and for teeth whitening.
Foods and Drinks That Lead to Tooth Erosion
If you recognize signs of tooth erosion, you should reduce the consumption of certain foods. While you may not want to cut them out of your diet entirely, one trick that will help is to eat them with other foods so that their impact is slightly diluted. For instance, tomatoes contain a lot of acid. Eat them in a sandwich instead of on their own as a snack to reduce the amount of acid your teeth are exposed to.
Other foods that can be bad for your teeth include:
- Oranges and orange juice: These options have a high acid content that can damage your teeth.
- Dried fruit: Raisins, prunes and other dried fruits have lots of nutrients, but they are also sticky and can get stuck to your teeth. If you do not get all the fruit off, the sugar can adhere to your teeth and erode the enamel.
- Sports drinks: While many people think of sports drinks as healthy and necessary after a hard exercise session, these beverages are loaded with sugar and acid. If you drink them during exercise and keep them in your mouth for a few moments, you are providing more time for the acid to get on your teeth.
- Sports gels and gummies: Many endurance athletes use these snacks for quick hits of energy during their performance, but the high sugar content can lead to tooth erosion.
- Sour candy: Candy of any type is not good for you, of course, but sour candy often has citrus flavoring that can erode teeth.
- Lemon juice: A squirt of lemon juice in your water seems harmless but can deliver a lot of acid.
- Substances that dry out your mouth. These include alcohol and many medicines. If medicines are the cause, talk with your dental care provider about getting a fluoride rinse, or a fluoride gel for brushing your teeth.
Also, watch out for flavorings in your beverages. Anything citrus flavored likely has a lot of acid, such as a limeade or lemonade.
How To Eat For a Healthy Mouth
The Australian Dental Association offers these tips to help reduce tooth-decay risk from the foods you eat:
- Eat sugary foods with meals. Your mouth makes more saliva during meals. This helps to reduce the effect of acid production and to rinse pieces of food from the mouth.
- Limit between-meal snacks. If you crave a snack, choose something nutritious. Think about chewing sugarless gum afterward to increase saliva flow and wash out food and acid.
- Drink more water. Fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, check the label for the fluoride content.
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Floss once a day.
Have you noticed tooth erosion in your mouth due to your diet? Have your teeth checked at Riversdale Dental in Camberwell. Please call us on (03) 9882 5566to set up an appointment.