You have likely heard the statement that sugar erodes teeth and may cause tooth decay, but has anyone told you that drinking juice can also lead to enamel erosion? Sugar is not the only culprit behind the appearance and development of cavities in the pockets of space surrounding teeth.
Just Because they are Fruits Does Not Mean They are Good for Teeth
You may be avoiding carbonated drinks and other sweetened drinks, but drinking fruit juices or eating them may erode tooth enamel the same way as the former.
Acid erosion is a type of tooth wear that causes the irreversible loss of tooth structure because of acidic chemical dissolution. Food and drinks with a pH below 5.0-5.7 are triggers that result in the loss of enamel. Dentists from Unidental-UK.com cite that acidic food and drinks lower the mouth’s pH level, leading teeth to demineralise. Drinks such as fruit juices, sports drinks, wine, carbonated drinks and beer all lower pH level, increasing the possibility of cavity growth and tooth decay.
Frequency, and not total intake, is the main cause of acid erosion; this habit slowly but surely dissolves tooth enamel. This will expose the dentin underneath, causing sensitivity, pain and chronic toothaches. The way you consume and drink highly acidic food is just as important as what you eat. When you finish a can of pop in a gulp or two your teeth recovers quickly and the damage is not as bad, compared to sipping on it throughout the day. Every time you drink carbonated and highly acidic drinks, you restart the plaque production process, increasing the risk for cavity development.
Healthy Habits that Maintain or Improve Dental Health
Reduced consumption of fruit juices, carbonated and sweet drinks will prevent tooth decay, cavity development and other similar ailments. Regular consultations with a practitioner will identify potential dental problems before they worsen.
Certain types of food will keep your teeth healthy because of the nutrients they contain, these include:
- Cheese has the nutrient content that may neutralise plaque acid.
- Raisins are a natural source of phytochemicals, which may kill cavity causing plaque.
Cranberries have polyphenols which prevent plaque from attaching to teeth, reducing the risk of cavities.