Your tooth enamel is the one thing that keeps your teeth safe from the many oral health issues that are possible. Unfortunately, some foods can do serious damage to your enamel. Find out which are the worst foods for tooth enamel destruction.
The Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss
Some of the foods that you eat are beneficial to your teeth. But others cause wear and tear. If you want to keep your enamel in tip-top shape, avoid these five foods.
Do you enjoy a soda every so often? If so, you could have weakened tooth enamel. It is true that carbonated beverages contain a great deal of sugar. Although sugar can harm your enamel, there’s a more dangerous ingredient in sodas.
The real culprit is the acid in carbonated drinks. Typically, sodas contain ingredients like citric acid, malic acid, and phosphoric acid. The acid is corrosive; it eats away at the minerals that protect your teeth.
If you have a tendency to drink lime, lemon, or orange soda, you risk doing even more damage to your teeth. The ingredients in citrus sodas dissolve enamel even faster than other flavors. In a short time, they can do a lot of damage.
Those sour gummies that you love so much might not be worth the damage they do to your teeth. Sour Patch Kids, SweeTarts and other sour candies are tough on the enamel of your teeth, more than most plain sweet candies.
To make candy taste sour, manufacturers add acids to their formulas. The acid is what makes your mouth water and your lips pucker. Unfortunately, it’s also what destroys your enamel. If you have to have candy, you’re better off skipping the sour variety.
Foods the Contain Vinegar
If you’re into holistic living, you know that vinegar has benefits to your health and your home. After all, you can use apple cider vinegar to cure many ailments.
Unfortunately, vinegar isn’t always healthy for you. More notably, it’s not healthy for your teeth. One study revealed that teens who eat foods that contain vinegar are between 30% and 85% more likely to have tooth enamel erosion than those who don’t.
Although teens don’t have teeth that are as strong as adults, don’t discount this fact. Adult tooth enamel is also susceptible to the acidic nature of vinegar. It can easily damage your enamel.
Unfortunately, many foods contain vinegar. You can find it in pickles, salad dressings, and sauces. You need to eat carefully to avoid too much vinegar.
Who doesn’t love the crunch that comes with biting into a potato chip? It’s a common snack, but it’s terrible for your teeth.
With potato chips, there are two main culprits. First, there’s the vinegar. As mentioned above, the vinegar eats at your enamel.
Second, there’s the high starch content. Eventually, starch becomes sugar. When the starch becomes sugar and is trapped between your teeth, bacteria feed on it. As a bi-product, they produce acid.
The best way to avoid the damage from potato chips is to not eat them. However, there are other ways to limit the nasty side effects of eating chips. You can floss after eating your snack to remove the starch from your teeth. If floss isn’t available, you can drink some water.
Fruit isn’t always good for you. Citrus fruits contain acid, which damage your enamel. However, dried fruit is even worse. Although dried fruit might be healthy for your body, it’s not healthy for your mouth.
Dried fruit is sticky. When you eat it, the fruit gets stuck in your teeth. It’s also very high in sugar. Typically, manufacturers load dried fruits up with sugar to make them sweeter. Because they have a high sugar content, it feeds the bacteria and results in acid.
If you get the craving for dried fruit, pick a more natural alternative. Real fruit is better for you and your teeth. If you can’t ignore the craving, be sure to brush and floss after eating.
Why Does Enamel Loss Matter?
Tooth enamel is the hard substance that covers your teeth. It’s the only part of the tooth that you can see when you open your mouth. Underneath the enamel lie the more sensitive components of your teeth.
Although enamel is what makes your teeth so white, it doesn’t only have an aesthetic purpose. Instead, it has the job of protecting your teeth. As you chew, your teeth can encounter damage. The enamel coats your teeth and keeps them safe from wear and tear.
Enamel also protects you from pain. Under the enamel, nerves hide. If your enamel didn’t cover your nerves, eating hot and cold food would be like torture. The coating of the enamel is enough to prevent pain.
Unfortunately, enamel doesn’t always get the job done. If your enamel cracks, chips, or dissolves, you lose your protection. Your teeth are no longer safe from chewing and eating hot or cold foods.
How Does Enamel Break Down?
Although tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, it’s still vulnerable. It takes a lot to destroy enamel, but it can be done. Like every superhero, enamel has a Kryptonite.
When acid comes into contact with your enamel, a reaction occurs and breaks down the enamel. As a result, your tooth could become exposed. This can be painful and results in other issues, like cavities.
Protecting Your Enamel
If you want to have a healthy smile, you need to protect your enamel. There are a few ways in which you can do so. First, you should avoid the worst foods for tooth enamel loss. Secondly, you should brush and floss regularly. This prevents bacteria from building up and eating away at your enamel.
Finally, you should visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can perform a professional cleaning. She can also help you identify weak spots in your enamel and areas where cavities are forming.
No matter your age, dental condition, and if you have a million questions, Dr. Sims can assist you or your young children in a professional manner and loves answering any of your questions or concerns.
Dr. Sims grew up in Grimsby playing basketball, so he’s always up for talking about the Raptors! He’s also a football fan - go Buffalo Bills! In his free time, if he’s not watching a basketball game or football game, you’ll likely find him working out, cooking (got any new recipe ideas?), and of course, spending time with his amazing family.