Here’s a short list of a few things that might hurt your tooth enamel and a few that will help it.
One thing that will help your tooth enamel is limiting sugary soft drinks and food. Sugar produces acid in the mouth as well as feeding harmful bacteria. Also found in most drinks containing sugar are citric and phosphoric acids which even up the acidity more. Limit those sugary drinks. Same with chewy candies. They’re particularly damaging because they can stick to your teeth. Artificially sweetened soft drinks and sugarless candies are a better choice, but in terms of beverages, a good old glass of cold water is likely your best choice.
You can also eat foods that protect enamel. Those would be foods that contain calcium, such as milk, cheese and other dairy products. You might want to choose low fat or fat free dairy to keep fat and calories down.
Believe it or not, you also need to be aware that over-brushing can cause harm to tooth enamel. Use a soft brush and brush gently at about a 45 degree angle to your gums in short strokes. If you eat sweets or citrus fruits, don’t brush immediately afterward because the acid temporarily softens the enamel. Wait up to an hour before brushing, but you can rinse with water in the interim.
A lot of us suffer from heartburn and other eating disorders. Make sure to get them treated. With severe heartburn or reflux, stomach acids may end up in the mouth and attack your tooth enamel.
And finally, if you’re a swimmer, beware of chlorinated water. If it isn’t done properly, it can become very acidic:
Tooth enamel exposed to pool water can begin to erode. In a study by the Centers for Disease Control, 15% of frequent swimmers showed signs of enamel erosion, compared to only 3% of people who don’t swim. Check with the recreation center or gym where you swim to make sure the pool’s pH is checked regularly. While swimming, keep your mouth closed to avoid exposing your teeth to chlorinated water.
Take care of your teeth and they’ll last a lifetime. Call us with any questions.