Many people love eating fruits: they’re sweet, juicy and can be a healthy source for vitamins. However, each fruit has its own pH level which can make it acidic or alkaline. Consuming foods that are acidic in nature over a long period of time can harm our teeth without the proper aftercare. Eating fruits and other foods can cause our tooth enamel to erode, leading to dental erosion and tooth sensitivity. You can still enjoy eating fruits and the healthy foods you love by being aware of the acidic effect on your teeth.
What Is Acidity?
The pH scale ranges from 0-14, which measures the levels of acid or alkaline of any substance. You can also measure the pH balance of foods, liquids, and even the saliva in your mouth. Substances that fall below a pH of 7 are considered acidic, and those above seven are alkaline.
While you’re not eating or drinking, your saliva should stay close to the neutral range of6.2 to 7.6 pH. This range is ideal in preventing acid eroding your enamel and thus lead to tooth decay in the long run.
Which Foods Are Most Acidic?
Foods that have an acidic pH can wear away at the enamel if it’s consumed over a long period of time. It can eventually thin out the enamel and can cause decay, sensitivity, and discoloration. That is why it’s important to consume it in moderation. Eating 3 large meals during the day is more ideal than snacking throughout the day. The bacteria that causes tooth decay on our teeth will eat what we eat, and the more that they eat, the more acid they can produce, and that is the cause of our enamel breaking down.. This is a short list of foods that are acidic. Cutting these out of our diet is not ideal, the importance of it all is moderation!
- Citrus fruits — lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerines, and oranges
- Apples, grapes, peaches, pomegranates, blueberries, pineapples
- Fruit juices and sodas (both regular and diet)
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
- Jams and jellies
This is a short list of foods that are less acidic:
- Beans, including black, soy, kidney, and lima
- Corn, peas, peppers, asparagus, spinach, and broccoli
- Fish, including salmon, shrimp, and crab meat
- Green tea
- Potatoes, rice, and yams
- Watermelons, cantaloupes, and honeydew melons
- Ripe mangoes, bananas, and papayas
What Is Dental Erosion?
Tooth erosion is not an overnight process, so we can prevent it before it happens. The calcium in saliva can help strengthen enamel, but when the environment in your mouth is too acidic, remineralization will not occur, which eventually leads to tooth erosion and decay. Some common signs of erosion include:
- Sensitivity — Hot and cold foods, strongly-flavored sweets, and even cold air can produce sensitivity.
- Discoloration — Your teeth might appear slightly yellower as your enamel becomes thinner, exposing the dentine underneath.
- Rounded teeth — Teeth may appear to have softer or sanded edges or as if there are small dents along the chewing surface.
- Transparency — The edges of your incisors (front teeth) may lessen in opacity, appearing as if you can almost see through them.
- Cracks — Tiny faults or a sharpness along the edges of the teeth are also common.
Preventing Enamel Erosion
Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy:
- Avoid sucking on lemons, limes, or any highly acidic fruit.
- Use a straw when drinking fruit juices. This keeps it from coming in direct contact with your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating fruit to dilute the acids in your mouth, and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to give your enamel time to resettle.
- Keep your enamel strong by brushing with fluoride toothpaste.
- Eat cheese after your fruit. Cheese helps raise the pH levels in your mouth and increases saliva production, which also aids in neutralizing acids.
Eating a balanced diet is essential – filled with lots of fruits and vegetables to get enough vitamin C. To promote healthy teeth, don’t skip brushing and flossing daily, minimise snacking throughout the day, and make sure you drink plenty of water. You can discuss your options with your local Collingwood Park dentist book an appointment today.Leave a reply →