Sugars, Acids, and Your Teeth

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We are often told that sugary foods will rot your teeth. But did you know that acidic foods are also bad for your teeth? The sugars present in foods are consumed by bacteria in the mouth, which then convert it to acids. It is the acid present, not the sugar itself, that causes damage to your smile. Thus, naturally and artificially acidic foods can also damage your smile.

The best method to significantly lower your risk for tooth enamel loss or tooth decay is to avoid acidic foods entirely. Such foods include citrus fruits, soft drinks, sour candy, juices, alcoholic drinks, and many others. Many people find this difficult, and for good reason.

Another option is to not eat acidic foods alone as a snack. If you want to enjoy an acidic treat, include it in a larger meal to help neutralize the effects of the acids. Drinking plenty of water is also a terrific idea!

Another way to neutralize the effects of acid is your body’s natural defense: saliva. By chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals, you can help promote saliva flow in your mouth. Sugared gum should be avoided, as the sugars in the gum feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

The better your diet is, the better your body will feel. Of course, there are an abundance of opinions on what is the “best” diet choice; aim for balance and health practices specific to your needs. Just remember to include your dental well-being in your decision making!

For more information, call JC Brown, DDS in Germantown, Tennessee at 901-758-1000. Dr. Jackie Brown and our team will be happy to talk with you!