Ditch the Sodas to Save Your Tooth Enamel

Jan 24th, 2012 | By | Category: More dental news, Preventive Dentistry

Would you ever put battery acid in your mouth? Of course not, but did you know that most carbonated drinks are only slightly less acidic than battery acid? Carbonated beverages are not only unhealthy for the body, but they can also destroy the tooth enamel through a process known as acid erosion. Once you learn the facts about acid erosion, you may rethink those daily diet sodas.

What is acid erosion?

Tooth enamel is the outer layer of teeth and is the hardest substance in the human body. When certain foods or drinks wear away at the enamel, the underlying dentin is exposed. The dentin is connected to nerves in the mouth, so when it is left unprotected, hot, cold, and sweet foods can cause extreme sensitivity and pain. Not only does acid erosion cause sensitivity, but it also changes the appearance of teeth. Your formerly hard, white teeth can become transparent, discolored, and even develop cracks on the surface.

How do carbonated drinks contribute to acid erosion?

The lower the pH level of a substance, the more acidic it is. Fizzy soft drinks are low in pH, which leads to dental erosion. Saliva can help neutralize this acidity when exposure to carbonated drinks is limited. However, when consumption is frequent, the saliva can’t keep up with the job and the teeth do not have adequate time to repair themselves between exposures to the offending substance.

What can I do to prevent acid erosion?

Prevention is the best line of defense, and these measures will help keep tooth enamel damage to a minimum:

  • Avoid consuming carbonated drinks, or at least cut back and when you do consume them, drink through a straw to minimize exposure to your teeth.
  • Do not brush your teeth immediately after consuming soft drinks, as this is when the enamel is weakest.
  • Use a soft toothbrush and brush very gently to avoid further damage to the enamel.
  • Use a toothpaste specially formulated for sensitive teeth, as it can help re-harden the tooth enamel.
  • Visit Dr. Moiceanu for regular dental checkups and cleanings.

If your teeth are already discolored and sensitive, Dr. Moiceanu can help with preventive measures and cosmetic restoration. Call Hilltop Family Dental today at (510) 758-7222 and let our experienced team make your smile look and feel great again. We serve patients in Richmond, San Pablo, El Sobrante, Vallejo, Pinole, El Cerrito, Hercules, and Benicia.

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