More and more patients are coming to our Cheney dentists with questions about acid erosion. As this dental problem becomes more well-known, and there are more oral hygiene products formulated to treat it, patients want to make sure that they are doing what they can to protect their smiles. Our dental team has put together this short explanation of acid erosion—how it develops and how you can safeguard your smile. Let’s get started!
Your dental enamel is the outermost layer of your tooth, and it is designed to protect inner tooth layers from damage and sensitivity. However, dental enamel isn’t indestructible. When your enamel comes into contact with acidic substances, it is temporarily softened. At this point your tooth is at risk of becoming damaged, and your enamel is at risk of thinning.
To protect your teeth, you want to make sure that you do not brush your teeth for at least twenty to thirty minutes after acid exposure. It takes this long for your enamel to balance out and become less porous. In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth with water, as this will minimize the amount of acid sitting on your teeth, and it will prompt your body to produce saliva.
Once you understand the mechanics of acid erosion, you can also take steps to limit the amount of time that your enamel is soft and vulnerable. The best way to do this is consume acidic substances in specific, time-limited sittings, rather than eating or drinking throughout the day. This simple tweak to your routine will minimize the amount of time that your enamel is at risk.
As always, our Cheney dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need about acid erosion, and oral health in general. Please feel free to give us a call to learn more and to schedule a personal consultation!