Food can be both nourishing and fun. Nothing compares to enjoying a meal with friends and family, especially during special occasions.
Feasting on an array of drinks and fruits after lunch or dinner is a treat for your stomach, but the acidic content of certain foods and beverages can take its toll on your pearly whites.
Acidic foods target the enamel, which is a hard glossy substance that covers your teeth. They wreak havoc on its surface and it slowly becomes weak and discolored.
When this happens, your teeth become vulnerable to cavities and sensitivity. The following tips will help you protect your teeth from this acidic threat.
- Drink Water with Your Fruits
Eating fresh fruits, especially during summer, is a healthy snack indeed. However, fruits such as lemons, grapefruits and tomatoes are rich in acids.
Dried fruits are also a double threat since they have the tendency to stick to your teeth in the worst way possible. Fruits are too valuable nutrition-wise to sacrifice, so the best thing you can do is to drink water alongside any acidic fruits such as oranges, limes and cranberries.
- Balance Your Acid Levels
Whenever you decide to eat, be sure to choose foods with high pH levels such as eggs, nuts, bananas, apples or brown rice to counteract the acidic effects of fried food or high-fat meats for example. A balanced diet is not only good for your health, but it is also a friend to your teeth.
- Say No to Vinegar
Salad is not complete without its dressing, but the desire to protect your teeth will encourage you to avoid salad dressings laced with vinegar. Its high acidic content is particularly harmful to teenage kids and children with vulnerable tooth enamel. Other foods that may include vinegar such as potato chips and pickles should also be avoided as much as possible.
- Avoid Certain Drinks
Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks are both keys to dehydration since they lead to increased passing of urine. This dehydration causes the saliva in your mouth to decrease which in turn deprives your teeth from the protective properties of this watery substance. Energy drinks can also damage both the tooth and its roots due to their high sugar, acid and caffeine content.
- Ease Up on Carbohydrates
Cavities and carbohydrates are tightly linked because they transform into acids when broken down by saliva. They also become wedged between your teeth, making it possible for bacteria to form and multiply. Foods such as bread, pasta and chips can be as harmful as candy.
- Timing is Everything
Acidic foods soften the tooth enamel, so brushing your teeth right away after eating can make things worse. Therefore, experts recommend waiting for at least an hour before brushing your teeth in order for the saliva to re-harden your enamel and restore the minerals lost.
Rinsing your mouth using baking soda is also an easy solution to buffer this undesirable acid. Just add in a spoonful of baking soda to some water and gargle the acidity away.