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Is Your Diet Causing Enamel Erosion?

If you think that’s it’s only sweet drinks and foods that are harming your teeth you need to think again. Our dentists in Parramatta know that sugar isn’t the only thing that can ruin your smile. Foods and drinks that are high in acid will wear away at the enamel that protects your teeth – this is known as tooth erosion. It will change the appearance of your teeth and in doing so it opens up the door for bacteria that can cause infections and cavities.

Unfortunately, tooth erosion is permanent and if the enamel has started to wear away you may find:

  • There is a yellowish discolouration to your teeth
  • Fillings have changed
  • There is pain or sensitivity when consuming sweet, or hot or cold drinks
  • In extreme cases develop an abscess
  • You are at greater risk of more cavities over time
  • Experience tooth loss (in extreme cases)

Once erosion has begun you may need fillings, a root canal, crown, or even removal of the tooth.

Foods and drinks to watch out for

If what you are eating is citrus or citrus flavoured, sour or carbonated it’s best to limit the amount you consume. Although nutritious, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits should be eaten with a meal, rather than on their own due to their acidic effects on teeth. Dried fruits including sultanas can also cause issues as they are sticky and can adhere to the teeth.

Soft drink and sports drinks are still the major erosion culprits – even though they may be sugar-free, because they are carbonated they are more likely to be acidic. The bubbly fizz raises the acid levels of any drink regardless of its flavour.

Acids in beverages can also come from citrus flavourings such as orange, lime or lemon, even fresh squeezed juices are higher in acid, so make them an occasional treat only. Some sour lollies use citric acid to get the desired effect, limit your consumption for the sake of your teeth.

 

Tips for protecting your teeth

  • Limit or avoid acidic beverages like soft drink – or use a straw
  • When drinking soft drinks and other acidic beverages, don’t hold them in your mouth or *swish* them around – just sip and then swallow
  • After any acidic meals or beverages rinse your mouth with water, drink milk or eat cheese straight afterwards. Dairy and other calcium rich foods help neutralise the acids
  • Saliva helps keep acids under control, to keep saliva flowing and protecting your teeth, chew a sugarless gum
  • Talk to your dentist in Parramatta he or she can explain the effects your nutritional choices are having on your teeth, and advise of the foods and drinks to have, and the ones to avoid.

Book in for a check up and we’ll address all your issues and concerns, call us on 800 400 55 and we’ll provide you with all the help you need!

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