Graphic illustration of teeth fighting "bad guys" with tooth light sabers with the fact "Tooth enamel is the hardest biological material."

The Impact of Acidic Foods and Beverages on Tooth Enamel

September 27, 2023 9:00 am

Tooth enamel is the hard, white outer layer of your teeth. It protects your teeth from decay and other damage. However, acidic foods and beverages can wear away tooth enamel, a process called acid erosion. In this blog, we will provide insights into its effects and offer preventive measures to help you preserve your enamel.

What Are Acidic Foods and Beverages?

Acidic foods and beverages have a pH of 5.5 or below (the average pH of the mouth is 6.7). In most cases, acidic foods and beverages have a sweet or sour taste to them. Some common acidic foods and beverages include:

  • Carbonated soft drinks like soda
  • Fruit juices
  • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and lemon
  • Tomatoes
  • Wine

How Do Acidic Foods and Beverages Damage Tooth Enamel?

When you eat or drink acidic foods or beverages, the acids in these foods and beverages can dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel. Without these essential minerals, the tooth enamel weakens and makes your teeth more susceptible to decay and other damage.

Symptoms of Acid Erosion

The early stages of acid erosion may not cause any symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sensitive teeth
  • Toothache
  • Rough spots on your teeth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Tooth loss

How to Prevent Acid Erosion

While it’s best to avoid acidic food and beverages as much as possible, we know it’s not always possible! However, there are a few things you can do to prevent acid erosion:

  • Drink acidic beverages through a straw to minimize contact with your teeth.
  • Don’t brush your teeth for 30 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages. The acids can soften your teeth and make them more susceptible to damage from brushing.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking acidic foods or beverages.

Restorative Dentistry Treatments in Petaluma, CA

Acid erosion can seriously damage your teeth. By limiting your intake of acidic foods and beverages, taking steps to prevent acid erosion, and seeing Dr. Serrano regularly, you can help protect your teeth from this damage! If your teeth have already been damaged from acidic food and drink, get in touch with our team to restore your smile.

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