Are your favorite foods causing tooth erosion?

Food and tooth erosionDo you drink a glass of orange juice every morning? How about a warm cup of tea to beat the 3 p.m. slump?

These habits seem harmless (even healthy!), but they may be causing tooth erosion without you even realizing it. Tooth erosion is the loss of tooth enamel, the hard, protective coating of the tooth which protects the sensitive dentine underneath from acid attack. If the enamel is eroded, it can lead to pain and sensitivity when eating and/or drinking.

What should you watch out for? The following foods are acidic, so they can cause tooth erosion:

  • Energy drinks – Researchers at the University of Iowa’s College of Dentistry found that sports drinks erode tooth enamel more than soda and fruit juices.
  • Soda – Don’t be fooled by the diet versions into thinking they’re healthier—any fizzy drink can cause tooth erosion.
  • Fruit juices – Orange juice was found to decrease enamel hardness by 84 percent.
  • Tea – This super food may be known for its antioxidant content, but it also has been shown to erode your teeth if you consistently drink it. That said, it’s not as bad as citric juices, soda and energy drinks.

Thankfully, you don’t have to give up on these foods all together! You can help prevent tooth erosion with these tips:

  • Use a straw to keep your teeth away from the acidic liquid.
  • Don’t sip on acidic beverages all day long, drink it all at once.
  • Reach for water instead of an acidic beverage when you can.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after drinking an acidic beverage.

 

 

Photo credit: Viktor Rosenfeld

About Dr. Gary Vance

Dr. Vance has been a practicing dentist for more than 35 years and is currently a dental associate at a private practice in Plymouth, Mich. He graduated from the University of Detroit’s School of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Detroit District Dental Society and the American Association of Dental Consultants. Dr. Vance has been a dental consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for the past 15 years and is the newest blogger for A Healthier Michigan.

http://www.bcbsm.com/index/health-insurance-help/faqs/plan-types/dental.html

 
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