Could you be damaging your teeth — without even knowing it?
Any Fort Worth dentist will tell you: when you eat acidic foods, you increase the chances of wearing away your tooth enamel (the protective tissue that covers the more sensitive parts of your teeth). Damage to your enamel can lead to tooth decay and tooth pain, as well as other complications further down the road.
One thing you should know about enamel: once it’s gone, it’s gone! Your body cannot restore lost enamel, so it’s important to take care of it before it’s too late.
You probably know to watch out for common acidic foods, such as coffee, soft drinks, and citrus fruits. However, there are a variety of less obvious food items that contain a considerable amount of acid. You may not think twice about eating these foods, but the acid content can be detrimental to the health of your enamel.
Here are 5 surprisingly acidic foods to watch out for:
Fruits like Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries
These fruits may seem all sweet and innocent, but they’re hiding a lot of acid. Their pHs range from 3.5-4.1 (on a 14-point pH scale where the lower the number, the more acidic the item). So be careful when you’re eating these fruits. Our Fort Worth dentists recommend drinking water regularly while you eat.
Cranberry juice has many health benefits, like improving heart health, treating UTIs, and supporting digestive health. However, while these health benefits are great, cranberry juice also contains a large amount of acid. Its pH is around 2.5, about 10x more than raspberries and strawberries.
Your body cannot restore lost enamel, so it’s important to take care of it before it’s too late.
Condiments like Ketchup, Mustard, and Mayonnaise
These condiments are surprisingly high in acidity, despite their mild texture and taste. Tomatoes are highly acidic, contributing to ketchup’s pH of around 3.7. Mustard and mayonnaise fall in line at around 3.5-3.8. So go easy on the condiments!
Dairy Products like Yogurt, Sour Cream, and Aged Cheeses
Dairy products seem innocent enough, but they’re hiding a lot of acid that you might not expect. These products gain lots of lactic acid during their fermentation processes. Not all dairy products are acidic: milk is actually closer to neutral. But yogurt is one of the worst offenders to look out for.
You might know that wine can cause enamel stains, but it can also contribute to enamel erosion. Red wine is actually slightly less acidic than white wine, but both are relatively high in acid. Be careful as you drink wine, and alternate sips with water to help keep your teeth healthy and happy.
How to Protect Your Teeth When Consuming Acidic Foods
When you’re consuming foods high in acid, there are steps you can take to reduce the impact on your enamel.
- The best thing you can do is drink a glass of water after you consume acidic foods
- When drinking an acidic beverage, don’t hold it in your mouth for longer than you need to
- Alternate sips of your drink or bites of food with a swish of water
- Use a straw to reduce exposure to your teeth
- After eating acidic foods, wait a bit before brushing your teeth to allow your saliva time to wash away the acids
Protect and Restore Your Teeth with Help from our Fort Worth Dentists
Smile Fort Worth has all the services you need to treat any issues stemming from enamel erosion. We can give you a preventative oral exam and check your mouth for cavities or other signs of damaged enamel.
Our Fort Worth dentists are here to help you have a healthier, stronger smile!