Your Westchester NY Dentist Warns You about Other Potential Dental Dangers
The choices that we and our families have for snacks, meals, and beverages probably far exceeds what any of us would ever need. Most people stick to a circle of favorite consumables; often those that they believe are more “friendly” to the teeth and the body than others. For instance, many parents today do not purchase soda for their children due to the inclusion of high-fructose corn syrup. Instead, kids are routinely given the alternative of some type of sports drink. Older kids may choose to quench their thirst with these and even the occasional energy drink. Because there is no sugar in most of these beverages, there is the idea that they are safer for teeth. Not so, and here’s why.
It is not only sugar that damages teeth. Interestingly, it really wasn’t until the popularity of sports and energy drinks began to soar that we realized that there could be another danger lurking in food choices – acid. Yes, acid. If you are envisioning the effects that some type of acid has if you pour it over, say, metal; the smoke, the peeling or bending, you aren’t far off from envisioning what mild acids in foods and drinks do to enamel.
Acid-washing your Teeth
You wouldn’t really want to acid-wash anything that you do not wish to alter. However, this is what happens when acidic beverages are consumed. The liquid does not stay in line, as if passing through the mouth in an invisible tunnel. No. It washes over every tooth, in between teeth, in the tiniest crevices. When it sits, it causes erosion, the widespread wearing down of the tough outer shell of teeth. When enamel wears down, or erodes, the result is higher sensitivity that is difficult to reverse, and also an increased risk for cavities.
Saving your Teeth
Secondary to creating new, healthier habits, the way to save teeth from erosion is to rinse the mouth out after drinking soda, a sports drink, or an energy drink. If a beverage has acid as an ingredient, rinse the mouth. By the way, coffee is also highly acidic. Rinsing with water can dilute acid and wash some of it away. Brushing should be postponed about an hour after an acidic beverage, though, because brushing enamel in a state of weakness can do more harm than good.
Your Westchester, NY dentist is here to support you. Call (914) 939-2132.