Everyone knows that coffee, tea, citrus, and acidic foods aren’t great for your smile. Over time, acid can break down the layer of enamel protecting your teeth. Every time you consume acidic food, the enamel softens and your teeth lose minerals. Your saliva will gradually build the minerals back up, but for some people, the repair may not be fast enough to prevent breakdown. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, discoloration, and decay.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to prevent erosion:
- Use a straw: using a straw will minimize the amount of liquid that comes in contact with your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth: After you eat or drink something acidic, rinse your mouth with water. This will help wash the acid out of your mouth and keep the effects from lingering on your teeth.
- Consume acidic foods with meals: If you’re going to eat acidic food, try to do so when you’re eating other things. The other food will help minimize the acid’s contact with your teeth.
- Brush your teeth: Brush your teeth after you consume acidic foods, but try to wait half an hour after eating. Because acid weakens your enamel, brushing immediately after eating can further damage your teeth.
- Schedule a cleaning: A good rule of thumb is to see your dentist every 6 months. Regular cleanings will help prevent tooth decay and allow for early detection of any problems that may arise, preventing costly treatments later on.
Has it been awhile since your last cleaning? Give us a call and schedule an appointment today.
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Dr. Ahmed received his DDS from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He has worked as an Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF and maintains a position as Clinical Instructor at Stanford University. He is recognized as a Fellow in both the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (FICOI). He believes continuous learning in dentistry allows him to stay current, and provide the best possible dental care for his patients.
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Zahid H. Ahmed, DDS, FICOI, FAGD
Monica Louie, DMD
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