Many of us spend a lot of time thinking about how the things we eat and drink affect our waistlines, but we might not consider how these things can impact our smiles. The truth is that everything we eat and drink comes into contact with our teeth and oral tissues. Over time seemingly insignificant dietary decisions can lead to big changes in oral health.
Take, for example, acidic foods and drinks. Dental research continues to show that regular exposure to acidic substances can cause teeth to weaken, and dental enamel to thin. Keep reading to learn more from our Cheney dentists.
When you eat or drink something acidic, your dental enamel is coated in this substance. Consequently, your dental enamel temporarily softens, and becomes weaker. The good news is that your enamel will return to its previous level of hardiness in about 20 to 30 minutes after you’re done indulging.
However, for that 20 to 30 minutes, your enamel is more susceptible than normal to damage and erosion. This is why it’s so important that you do not brush your teeth during this period of time. This is a unique situation in which brushing can actually do more harm than good!
Being thoughtful about how and when you consume acidic things can make a big difference for your smile. It is better, for example, to eat or drink something acidic in a specific, time-limited sitting, rather than snacking or sipping throughout the day. By doing this, you actually limit the amount of time that your enamel is soft and vulnerable.
You can also get into the habit of rinsing your mouth with water to combat acid erosion. When you rinse with water, you flush away dental debris and harmful acid, and you simultaneously prompt saliva production. Saliva is your body’s natural way of re-mineralizing and strengthening enamel.
Although acid erosion is a somewhat scary concept, the truth is that there are things that you, and your dentist, can do to minimize its negative effects. Our Cheney dentists are happy to give you more information about preventive and restorative treatments used to address acid erosion. Please give us a call to speak to a member of our team or to schedule a personal consultation. You can also use the Contact Us page on our site to submit an inquiry!