Our Cheney Dentist Explains How Oral Acid Affects Your Smile

Written by Dr. Collins on Sep 12, 2017

You probably already know that certain things, like bacteria and vehicular accidents, are common causes of dental damage. However, you may not be aware that a more ubiquitous substance can be equally damaging: acid.

A number of popular foods and drinks contain appreciable amounts of acid: juices, citrus fruits, and soft drinks, for example, are all acidic. The problem is that when your dental enamel is exposed to acid, it temporarily softens and weakens. Consequently, prolonged exposure to acid can cause your enamel to become thinner over time.

Our Cheney dentists are here to help our patients minimize acid-related damage, and to protect their smiles as effectively as possible. Keep reading to learn more!

The first thing to do is to get a good idea of what types of things are acidic.  Along with the things we’ve already discussed, keep in mind that many sports drinks and salad dressings are high in acid. Wine is another common culprit when it comes to acid erosion.

As you may have noticed, many acidic foods and drinks are actually good for you, like fruits, for example! So, while it is certainly a good idea to limit those acidic substances that aren’t good for your wellbeing (such as soft drinks), you can’t completely eliminate acid from your diet.

With that in mind, here are some management strategies to help you protect your smile:

  • When you do consume acidic substances, try to do so in short, time-limited sittings, rather than sipping or snacking throughout the day
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking something with a lot of acid
  • Refrain from brushing your teeth for at least twenty to thirty minutes after exposing your enamel to acid, as your enamel is actually temporarily softened during this period of time, and thus more susceptible to erosion

As always, our Cheney dentists are here to give you all of the support and information that you need to maintain a strong smile. So, feel free to give us a call if you have questions and to schedule a personal consultation!