What foods are acidic and cause trouble for oral health?

A woman eating a bowl of berries.

Consuming acidic foods and beverages can cause the enamel to erode. You might think sugar is the only culprit for decay and cavities, but even healthy fruits can contribute without good oral hygiene.

This doesn't mean you should eliminate them from your diet, but being aware of how they can impact your teeth and oral health, and taking corresponding action can go a long way to protecting your smile.

What can acid do to my teeth?

Dental erosion is irreversible. Lost enamel doesnโ€™t grow back. If your enamel thins or erodes, your teeth may start to feel sensitive when exposed to sudden changes in temperature.

Eroded teeth can also stain and damage dental work, such as fillings. Left untreated, the area may develop an abscess. Advanced cases may require a root canal or tooth extraction.

But while the enamel doesnโ€™t regenerate, erosion doesnโ€™t happen overnight. You can take steps to stop it from progressing and keep your tooth structure intact.

Highly acidic foods and beverages

Here are examples of foods and beverages with high acid content:

  • Soft drinks. Soft drinks, sports drinks, and other carbonated beverages are high in acid. They also often top the list of the most sugary drinks. Avoid excessive consumption and drink more water instead. Water leaves zero residues, moisturizes the mouth, and helps neutralize acid levels. It also helps strengthen the teeth against acid attacks.
  • Citrus juices. Although they have nutritional benefits, citrus juices can be highly acidic, especially when made from oranges or lemons. Reduce direct contact with the teeth. Use a straw and limit your intake too. Rinse your mouth afterward with water and refrain from brushing immediately.
  • Dried fruits. Dried fruits do not only contain acidic flavors; they also stick to the teeth, giving more time for harmful bacteria to feed on them and produce more acids that wreak havoc on the enamel. Opt for fresh fruits instead. Theyโ€™re a healthier, less acidic alternative to commercially dried fruits.
  • Sour candies. These processed goodies are high in acidic and sugary flavors, making them interesting and quite addictive. Itโ€™s okay to reach for a piece or two, but avoid constant snacking ,and try to have some as part of a meal instead of eating them on their own.
  • Berries. Berries can also contribute to enamel erosion, so indulge sparingly and drink water or rinse your mouth with plain water afterward. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. The enamel is still soft from abrasion and acid exposure due to eating and is more likely to erode.
  • Tomatoes. Tomato-dense sauces, such as pasta sauces, can be highly acidic too. For your beverage, opt for water so food deposits are immediately flushed down from the tooth surfaces.

Get your teeth checked today in Red Deer, Alberta

It's difficult to veer from the foods and beverages you normally consume and enjoy.

But you don't have to skip coffee, tea, fruit juices, pasta, and acidic fruits altogether. Moderate intake and good oral hygiene habits can keep your oral health in good condition.

It's also essential to see the dentist regularly to discuss any dental-related concerns and have your mouth evaluated for potential issues.

Are you looking to book an initial consultation with a dentist in Red Deer, AB? Call us at Image Dental Care to get started. Our staff members can assist you with your inquiries or scheduling needs.