People generally don’t think of a tooth as a body part that fluctuates in strength. Our teeth seem to have a steady hardness and dependably grind food whenever we need them. However, teeth are dynamic organisms with nonstop chemical processes.
The protective enamel that covers the softer interior consists of minerals. Enamel demineralizes (loses some of its density) when it comes in contact with acids.
Saliva can dilute and neutralize acid so the tooth can remineralize This process isn’t instantaneous, however.
While the enamel is soft, the tooth is vulnerable to losing a microscopic outer layer of enamel. If the erosion continues, the much softer dentin is exposed. The dentin erodes more quickly. Eventually, the tooth may need to be extracted.
It is apparent that the ordinary diet is becoming more acidic. The list of acidic foods may surprise you. They include eggs, gravy, asparagus, chicken, cottage cheese, honey, fish, ham, butter, sour cream, aged cheese, and yogurt with active cultures. Generally, foods with a high sugar or artificial sweetener content are especially acidic. We don’t recommend eliminating the healthy foods on this list. However, we just want you to be aware of the issue.
Now let’s talk about drinks. You probably already know that soda pop and wine are not good for your teeth. Teens that sip soda all day can have acid erosion while their young teeth should be at their strongest. In addition to soda, energy drinks are very popular and dentists are noticing the impact.
If you drink soda or energy drinks often, you may want to drink water or chew sugarless gum after downing a can. Increasing saliva production can stimulate the remineralization process.
At The Dental Design Center in White Plains we offer comprehensive general dentistry. People from Scarsdale, Westchester County, and New Castle trust us with their smiles. Call for an appointment today!
Contact The Dental Design Center – Ira J. Handschuh, D.D.S.:
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