Which foods contribute to enamel erosion?
Compared to the diets of our ancestors, our modern eating habits can sometimes wreak havoc on our
smiles. Certain foods and beverages can erode the surface of the protective enamel that covers our
teeth. The acid level or pH of the foods and drinks that we consume every day can soften the enamel,
weakening the outer layer, eventually leading to a variety of unwanted dental conditions.
The process of enamel erosion happens very slowly, but the damage can be severe. To stop acid erosion
in its tracks and prevent future harm, ask your Henderson NV cosmetic dentist at each dental visit to
check for the signs and symptoms of erosion.
The most common signs include thinning or yellowing teeth, brittle teeth, hypersensitivity to hot or cold
temperatures, and sensitivity to sweets. Being aware of foods and drinks with high acidity levels (low
pH) and enjoying them in moderation can help to slow the erosive process.
Here’s another important tip: Remember that acid foods can temporarily soften the surface of the
enamel. Resist the urge to “scrub” your teeth immediately after consuming an acidic drink since this
may actually cause more damage to the vulnerable enamel. Instead, swish with water to neutralize the
acid as quickly as possible.
So, what are the average pH levels of some of your favorite foods and drinks? (Remember that lower pH
values are most acidic!)
- Lemon juice (2.0)
- Red Wine (2.3)
- Vinegar (2.4)
- Oranges (2.8)
- Salad Dressing (3.6)
- Beer (4.0)
- Bananas (4.5)
- Cheddar Cheese (5.9)
- Milk (6.4)
- Water (7.3)
A balanced diet is essential to your nutritional health and also your dental health. The pH value of a
particular food or beverage should not limit your choices for your meals and snacks. However, you
can certainly make smart choices about the frequency of these snacks and the length of time that you
expose your teeth to an acidic environment.
Talk to your cosmetic dentist in Henderson NV today about the health of your enamel and learn more
about fighting acid erosion.