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When And How Often You Consume Acidic Foods Or Beverages Affects Dental Health

Date:
February 10, 2008
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Sugar isn't the only enemy of teeth. Acids found in diet and regular soda, energy drinks, juice and wine can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. There are a few ways to minimize the risk of damage from acidic foods and drinks such as timing consumption: Eating acidic foods as part of a meal helps neutralize and eliminate acids. Before bedtime is the worst time to consume acidic foods, because saliva production decreases during sleep. Saliva helps neutralize and dilute acids. Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste 30 minutes before consuming acidic foods or drink is most beneficial. Brushing immediately afterward should be avoided.

Sugar isn’t the only enemy of teeth. Acids found in diet and regular soda, energy drinks, juice and wine can erode tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay. The February issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter suggests ways to minimize the risk of damage from acidic foods and drinks:

Limiting consumption

In addition to soda, wine, energy drinks and juice, limit consumption of high-acid foods including tart candies, citrus fruits and foods containing vinegar.

Timing consumption

Eating acidic foods as part of a meal helps neutralize and eliminate acids. Before bedtime is the worst time to consume acidic foods, because saliva production decreases during sleep. Saliva helps neutralize and dilute acids.

Drinking right

Using a straw for soda or juice helps minimize contact with the teeth. Drinking quickly -- not sipping over long periods -- also helps reduce the effects of acid on tooth enamel.

Neutralizing

After consuming acidic food or drink, eating cheese or swishing with water or a fluoride rinse helps neutralize the acid.

Timing your brushing

Brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste 30 minutes before consuming acidic foods or drink is most beneficial. Brushing immediately afterward should be avoided.

Chewing sugar-free gum

This can help stimulate saliva flow, which neutralizes and dilutes acid.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "When And How Often You Consume Acidic Foods Or Beverages Affects Dental Health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205204535.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2008, February 10). When And How Often You Consume Acidic Foods Or Beverages Affects Dental Health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205204535.htm
Mayo Clinic. "When And How Often You Consume Acidic Foods Or Beverages Affects Dental Health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080205204535.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

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