Let’s face it: When we meet a new person, the first thing many of us look at is their teeth, and we notice whether they look well maintained or whether they’ve missed a few dates with their dentist.
No matter how hard you try to avoid it, your teeth are exposed to enamel-weakening acid on a daily basis. Acid erosion commonly occurs in individuals who constantly consume highly acidic foods and beverages and practice poor hygiene regimens, which often leads to tooth decay, yellowing and changes in the structure and shape of the teeth.
Acid erosion is usually diet related, so before spending hundreds — or perhaps even thousands — of dollars perfecting your pearly whites, take a look at some of the best ways to protect your teeth from acid’s wrath by simply changing your eating habits.
Be aware of the triggers
Keeping in mind the types of foods and drinks that normally cause acid erosion is vital to maintaining healthy teeth. Tea, coffee, sports drinks, wine and fruit juices are all culprits. And while we’re not telling you to stop consuming your favourite beverages and snacks, remember that moderation is key.
Eat your dessert!
As a child, were you ever told you’d get no dessert until you cleaned your plate of all your vegetables? Well, little did you (or your parents) know that eating dessert right after a main meal can actually help strengthen your teeth and enamel. Dairy products such as ice cream and yogourt help to neutralize acidic environments and protect your teeth from acid erosion.
Fancy up your drinks
Who said drinking through straws was for children? Using a straw to consume some of your favourite acidic beverages, such as sodas and wine, helps by reducing contact between the drink and your teeth.
Are you a chronic snacker? Do co-workers count on you to supply them with their midday sugar fix? Well, we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with that, but to protect your teeth from acid erosion, munch on foods that are low in acidity (think vegetables) or combined with foods that are able to counteract acidic ones, such as nuts and dairy products.
Know when to brush
Ever since we were children, it’s been ingrained into our heads that brushing our teeth twice a day will keep them sparkling and clean. But did you know that brushing them after meals might actually harm your tooth enamel? Acidic foods and drinks soften the tooth enamel, leaving it prone to damage from brushing. So wait an hour after having that glass of wine or munching on your bedtime snack to brush your pearly whites.