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Don’t Let Acid Foods and Drinks Dissolve Your Teeth!

Do you know the sour taste of lemon juice?  That is a very strong acid.  Never bite into lemon wedges or drink straight lemon juice.  It’s too strong and will dissolve your teeth!

           

Lots of liquids we drink and foods we eat are acids, too- just not as strong as lemon juice.  Acid tastes sour.  Any food or drink with that sharp, sour taste is acidic.  Orange juice, cranberry juice and vinegar (in salad dressing and pickles): acids!  Sour candies like Sweet Tarts, daiquiris and dry wines all dissolve enamel of teeth.

                                                                                                        

 There is another source of acid that doesn’t taste sour.  Know what it is?  Sugar!  Bacteria in our mouths turn it into acid in seconds.  It doesn’t taste sour.  Each bite or drink of sugar puts acid on our teeth for 30 minutes.  Bad news for the enamel on our teeth!

How do our teeth survive if acids dissolve the enamel of our teeth?  If the dissolving (de-mineralizing) hasn’t gone too far, teeth harden up again (re-mineralize), taking up minerals from our saliva and non-acidic foods and drinks.  This process is constantly going on when we eat and drink.

 Prevent Irreversible Damage to Your Teeth by Doing 3 Things:

1. Avoid acids that are too strong: lemon juice, Sweet Tarts, and hard candy.

2. After eating mildly acidic foods, swish and swallow with plain water. This dilutes the acids and stops harm to your enamel.

3. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after eating.  This re-mineralizes the enamel 3 times every day.

 Our teeth are normally smooth, slippery and glide easily over one another.  If your teeth have been de-mineralized on the surface by a strong acid, they will squeak and drag when you grind your teeth together.  Do not brush immediately if this happens!  You will brush away the softened enamel.  Rinse with water and wait one hour.  Even better, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash (ACT), but do not brush until your teeth are smooth and slippery again.

Acid erosion of teeth is old news.  Be smart and prevent harm to your good enamel.  Plan on keeping your teeth in good shape for your entire life!

 W Bryon Satterfield, DDS, MAGD General dentist in The Woodlands with excellent care, skill and judgment from decades of experience in precision practice and teaching. Things work! 281-363-1571   Visit his website: docsatterfield.com