We know that reducing one’s sugar intake, brushing frequently, and regular flossing can help prevent tooth decay. However, dental erosion is an equally damaging condition that often gets overlooked – this process involves acid dissolving the hard tissues of the teeth. The most common cause of dental erosion is repeat exposure to acid in what we eat and drink.
Acidity can be measured by pH level (7 or lower); the lower a pH number, the more acidic something is. For example, plain distilled water has a pH of 7, while lemon juice may have a pH of 2, making it more acidic.
A recent study from the Oral Health Cooperative Research Center in Melbourne, Australia tested several different types of sugar-free drinks, which included soft drinks, flavored mineral water, and sports drinks. The drinks with acidic additives and lower pH numbers were found to cause a measurable loss of tooth enamel—almost the same amount of damage caused by sugary soft drinks.
Researchers noted in this study that although the use of sugar substitutes have helped reduce tooth decay, “consumers should be aware that many sugar-free products remain potentially harmful to teeth due to their chemical composition.”
In order to minimize dental erosion, try to avoid highly acidic foods. You can also do this by becoming more aware of what’s actually in the products you’re buying. Check the labels of food and beverage products for acidic additives such as:
Other foods and beverages that are more acidic than you may think include wine, cherries, iced tea, pickles, apple juice and cider, salad dressing, cranberries, tomatoes, strawberries, and plums. Researchers suggested rinsing your mouth with water (or chewing sugarless gum) after eating or drinking an acidic product, and then waiting about an hour to brush your teeth in order to protect the enamel.
Remember, the healthiest way to quench your thirst without risking dental erosion is to drink water. Keep up with your dental hygiene and save money with ZendyHealth– we can help you save up to 80% on teeth cleaning or other dental treatments.