Protecting Your Smile: Understanding Acidity and Dental Decay

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Acidity in food and drinks is not just a concern for your digestive system; it also poses a significant threat to your dental health. When you consume acidic foods and beverages, such as citrus fruits, sodas, and vinegar-based dressings, the acid attacks the enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth. Over time, this erosion weakens the enamel, leading to dental decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.

How to learn more about acidity?

At Eggert Family Dentistry in North Oaks, MN, Dr. Jeff Eggert and Dr. Elizabeth Eggert are passionate about educating our patients about the harmful effects of acidity on dental health. By raising awareness about the link between acidity and tooth decay and tooth wear, we empower our patients to make informed choices about your diet and lifestyle. Armed with this knowledge, you can use your cell phone to easily access information about the acidity levels of various foods and drinks, helping you make healthier choices to protect your smile. Such an easy use of amazing technology! (And, maybe a nice way to keep your kids researching with their phones instead of always just playing games!)

What is pH?

The pH scale measures acidity, with lower pH values indicating higher acidity. You can utilize smartphone apps or online resources to look up the pH levels of different foods and beverages. One popular cell phone app that helps users learn about the acidity in their foods and beverages is “pH Scale & Acid Test.” This app provides a comprehensive database of pH values for a wide range of foods and drinks, allowing you to easily look up the acidity levels of various items.

Additionally, the app often includes user-friendly features such as color-coded ratings to indicate the acidity level of each item, making it simple for you to make informed choices about your diet and oral health. By choosing options with lower acidity (pH levels of 7 or more), such as water or milk, instead of highly acidic choices like soda or citrus juices, you can minimize the risk of enamel erosion and dental decay.

Here is a chart showing many acidic food and drink choices.

The growing popularity of “sour” candy

You may not realize, but sucking and chewing sour candies has become a popular and seemingly harmless treat, especially among young children. The American Dental Association and the Minnesota Dental Association started a campaign in 2008 called “The Power of Sour” to help educate against this type of treat. Unfortunately, the popularity of sour candy keeps increasing and many adults have now jumped in on this trend. The acidity of these candies is increasing all the erosive tooth wear we see here at Eggert Family Dentistry. Teeth with acidic erosion will often look discolored, taking on a brown, yellow, or grey appearance. Teeth can also look sharp or rounded, depending on where the acid attack is occurring the mouth.

The following chart gives examples of popular sour candies.

We’re here to help! 

In addition to empowering patients with dietary guidance, Eggert Family Dentistry employs advanced technology to detect dental decay at its earliest stages. Enhanced radiographic technology, including digital radiograph sensors and a state-of-the-art CBCT machine, allows Drs. Jeff and Elizabeth Eggert to identify even the smallest signs of decay before they become more serious issues. Early detection enables prompt intervention, preserving tooth structure and preventing the need for more extensive treatments down the line.

By combining patient education with cutting-edge diagnostic tools, Eggert Family Dentistry prioritizes preventive care and early intervention in the fight against dental decay from acid attack! Drs. Jeff and Elizabeth Eggert are committed to helping you maintain healthy smiles for years to come, emphasizing the importance of acidity awareness and regular dental recare visits and check-ups. With proactive measures and informed choices, you can safeguard your dental health and help us fulfill our motto of providing “Dentistry for a Lifetime of Smiles!” Call us today to ask your acidic food and drink questions! 651-482-8412.

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