Posts Tagged ‘erosion’

7 Worst Foods for Tooth Enamel Loss

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but some foods may be stronger.

Soft Drinks

Guess what? Sugar isn’t the biggest culprit when it comes to a fizzy drink’s impact on teeth. These beverages — diet or not — strip minerals from tooth enamel because of their high acid content. We’re talking corrosive acids like phosphoric, malic, citric, and tartaric. And the flavor of the fizz matters. They all have an impact, but in a study, clear, citrus-flavored bubbly beverages dissolved enamel two to five times more than colas did.
Sports Drinks

Hydration during exercise is important, but reconsider guzzling sports drinks unless you’re a true endurance athlete. In a study comparing the erosive effects of five different beverages — including juice and soda — sports drinks did the most harm. Their high concentration of strong acids produced the deepest enamel damage in teeth.

Energy Drinks

Need a liquid pick-me-up? Skip this tooth stripper. In the study comparing five beverages, energy drinks were second worst after sports drinks — mainly because they had little ability to buffer the acids in the beverage. And drinks like these are an especially bad idea for adolescents and young adults, whose tooth enamel is less mature and more porous

Fruit Juices

Fruit juices, especially citrus, apple, and berry varieties, are loaded with the kinds of acids that wear down tooth enamel. Of course, juices also have some great-for-you qualities, too — like vitamins and antioxidants. So don’t write them off completely. Just drink them in moderation. Frequent fruit juice consumption has been linked to an increased risk of enamel erosion. As an extra measure, rinse afterward. And choose calcium-fortified juices that may pose less of a hazard to tooth enamel.


Ever seen someone suck on a slice of lemon or lime? Here’s why that’s a bad idea: fruits from the citrus family — including oranges, lemons, and limes — contain enamel-damaging acids. Berries do, too. Still, you don’t want to ditch fruit and all the RealAge benefits they confer. Just eat fruit with a meal to help minimize acid effects.

Sour Candy

Can’t resist those SweeTarts and Sour Patch Kids? Try. In a study comparing regular chewy candy, hard candy, and licorice to their sour counterparts, sour varieties were significantly harder on tooth enamel. Candy manufacturers add more acids — or different kinds of acid — to sour candy varieties to give them that pucker factor. And it’s those “tangy” acids that can create deep craters in your tooth enamel.


Vinegar turns up in lots of places — salad dressings, sauces, potato chips, pickles. And each one could spell trouble for tooth enamel. In a study, teenagers who frequently consumed vinegar-containing foods had a 30%–85% increased risk of enamel erosion compared with teens who didn’t consume those foods. Teens are more vulnerable to erosion because of less mature tooth enamel. But it’s a good idea for people to be aware of the potential impact that vinegar can have. Vinegar is a low-fat way to add flavor, but rinse afterward to protect your teeth

Smile-Saving Habits

You can’t always avoid enamel-eroding foods, so use these tips to minimize acid wear:
1. Avoid snacking in between meals to minimize acid attacks.
2. Don’t swish or hold acidic beverages in your mouth. Sip them through a straw to reduce the amount of time the acids come into contact with your teeth.
3. Rinse your mouth with water or chew sugarless gum after meals to help neutralize acid attacks.
4. Consume high-calcium milk or cheese before or with meals to help reharden enamel. Eating foods high in iron, such as liver or broccoli, may help as well.
5. If you do consume acidic foods or beverages, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. This gives softened enamel a chance to reharden, so it’s less prone to damage.
6. Brush with fluoride toothpaste to help fortify enamel.
7. See your dentist for regular checkups and scheduled cleanings to help prevent tooth decay.
Healthy tooth enamel means healthy teeth. And enamel damage is irreversible. So take the time to protect those pearly whites.

Excerpt from

Are Your Teeth Wearing Away?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Dental Erosion: 7 Tips for Your Teeth

You probably take steps to prevent cavities by brushing and flossing your teeth. Even so, you’re still at risk for dental erosion.
This growing and underappreciated problem of dental erosion now affects as many as one in five Americans, according to a series of articles in the Journal of the California Dental Association.
Dental erosion is the acidic dissolution of teeth–starting with the softening (demineralization) of the enamel and underlying dentin and subsequent structural tooth loss. It’s caused by acids in food and beverages as well as by regurgitated stomach acid resulting from reflux disease (in contrast, cavities are caused by acid-producing bacteria on the teeth, which feed on sugars). Overbrushing, abrasive toothpaste, tooth grinding, and other excessive mechanical wear and tear can dramatically worsen the damage caused by dental erosion.
Why the rise in dental erosion?
It’s largely because Americans have been drinking more acidic beverages and have become heavier (obesity increases the risk of reflux disease). Older people are also at risk because many take medications that reduce saliva flow, making their teeth more vulnerable to acid. And ironically, in our zeal to clean and polish our teeth, many of us overdo it and thus abrade them.
If your teeth could talk
If you know you have dental erosion, or want to prevent it, take these steps:
• Limit acidic beverages, such as soda (especially cola and citrus flavors, including diet sodas), energy drinks (such as Red Bull), sports drinks (such as Gatorade), citrus juices, and wine. Repeated and prolonged exposures–as in sipping or swirling the liquid in your mouth–are most erosive. Sugary acidic drinks are a double whammy, since they also promote cavities.
• Limit acidic foods such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, sour candies, raisins, and vinegary items–or at least eat them with other foods, not on their own.
• Rinse with water after consuming acidic foods or beverages. Rinsing with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and/or a fluoride mouthwash can further help.
• Eat dairy products. Their calcium helps reduce the damaging effects of acids; their casein enhances remineralization.
• Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva flow, which helps wash away acids.
• Use a less abrasive toothpaste. Whitening pastes are most abrasive. Those containing baking soda, which is alkaline and nonabrasive, tend to be gentlest on teeth.
• Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, but not too forcefully or for more than a couple of minutes. It’s easy to overdo it with an electric toothbrush, since it requires little effort.

If you have any questions about this subject, please call our office.
Article from Berkeley Wellness Alerts

Bubbles May Mean Bad Teeth

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Yellow stains aside, brewed coffee or tea may not be the worst thing you could swish past your pearly whites.
Other drinks tested in a recent study produced much more wear and tear on tooth enamel, especially bubbly soft drinks. But here’s the surprise: It didn’t matter if the sodas were diet or not.
Erosion Explosion
When your tooth enamel starts to erode, you’ve got major problems on your hands. And certain foods like sweets and sodas may hasten this process. All carbonated drinks in a recent study had some impact on tooth enamel (with the one possible exception being root beer — its impact on tooth enamel was slight). Citrus-flavored sodas hit teeth hardest, but colas caused problems, too. And it didn’t matter if the drinks were diet or full-sugar.
It’s the Acids
Contrary to what you might think, it’s not only the sugars in bubbly beverages that erode tooth enamel. It’s also the acids. The total acid content and acid type — look for names like phosphoric, citric, malic, and tartaric — in a beverage affect how strong the attack is on your choppers. Rinsing after sipping a soda may hasten the acids out of your mouth.
Dissolution of dental enamel in soft drinks. von Fraunhofer, J. A., Rogers, M. M., General Dentistry 2004 Jul-Aug;52(4):308-312.
From an article on