How to Avoid Acid Erosion of the Teeth

Foods like pineapple and orange juice can harm your teeth if consumed in excess

Credit: Nicolas Nedialko Nojarof

Don’t brush your teeth for an hour after consuming acidic foods

Fruit juices, soft drinks and sports drinks are popular beverages, but they have their drawbacks when it comes to the health of your teeth.

All of these beverages contain a lot of acid, which over time can lead to a progressive loss of tooth enamel, especially along the biting edge of teeth – a condition called acid erosion.

When you drink or eat anything with a high acid content (e.g., lemonade or fresh pineapple), it has the effect of temporarily softening the tooth enamel. That’s why it’s important not to brush your teeth immediately after consuming an acidic food. Your saliva will help neutralize the acid. It also helps to rinse your mouth with water. However, wait an hour before brushing and always use a soft toothbrush.

Instead of trying to eliminate acidic foods from your diet, simply limit their consumption. To minimize your chances of developing acid erosion on your teeth, select drinks that are low in acid content whenever possible, such as water and herbal tea.

When drinking acidic beverages, use a straw to protect your teeth from exposure and try not to drink them between meals. Finally, make sure you use fluoride toothpaste to keep teeth strong.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.