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The Truth About Fruit Acids And Protecting Your Tooth Enamel

Fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. Study after study shows that consumption of fruit is associated with good health, and avoiding many common diseases and conditions. Fruits rich in Vitamin C, in particular, contribute to gum and oral health. Many of those fruits also include the highest acidic content (pH<7) . Fruits with the highest acidity include,

• Lemons & limes
• Cranberries
• Blue plums
• Grapes
• Pomegranates
• Grapefruit
• Blueberries
• Pineapples
• Apples
• Peaches
• Mangoes
• Oranges

Dental Erosion
When you consistently eat highly acidic fruits or other foods, and don’t take any other measures to mitigate those acids, you can create conditions where the acids will weaken the tooth enamel. The acids can demineralize the enamel, and make teeth sensitive as well as cause discoloration. At worst, the enamel can crack, exposing the inner dentin to bacteria and decay.

Prevention Is The Best Cure
You certainly don’t have to give up on your favourite citrus fruits, or any other fruits or foods high in acids, provided you take some precautions to protect your tooth enamel. Here are some tips:

• If you are drinking fruit juices, drink through a paper straw. This diverts the acids from the juice away from your teeth.
• Avoid sucking on a piece of acidic fruit, such as orange slices. You want to minimize the amount of time there is contact between the acid and your teeth.
• Rinse with water, or drink a glass of water after you eat a piece of acidic fruit, swishing it in your mouth for about 30 seconds. This will dilute the acidic content of your mouth.
• Wait about 30 minutes before you brush your teeth after eating an acidic fruit. This gives your tooth enamel time to resettle.
• Eating cheese along with – and particularly, after – the fruit raises the pH level in your mouth, as well as increasing saliva production, both of which help to neutralize acids. This also works with wine, which is also acidic in nature.
• Eat acidic fruits and other acidic foods as part of a meal rather than as a snack on their own. This will reduce the level of contact between the acids and your teeth.

Foods That Help You Fight Acid Erosion
Along with those tips, there are many foods that you can pair with acidic fruits to minimize their impact on tooth enamel.

• If you use a salad dressing with a lot of vinegar (acidic) – add some crunchy high-fibre veggies to the salad, as these increase saliva production and help dilute the acids.
• Take fruit juice, add plain yogurt, and make a smoothie out of it. This neutralizes the acid levels.
• Sugary desserts cause acid production in the mouth – add a glass of milk to help neutralize the acid and prevent tooth decay.
• In general, foods high in calcium, such as cheese and other dairy, almonds, dark green leafy veggies, and those high in phosphorous, such as eggs, fish, and red meat – can help to remineralize teeth, and keep enamel healthy.

Looking for advice on tooth erosion, or any aspect of your oral and dental health? You’ll find the answer at Dr. Robert Axelrad’s Dental Office in Brampton, ON.

If you’re looking for a well-regarded and highly skilled dentist in the Brampton area, make an appointment with Dr. Robert Axelrad by calling (905)-791-3867. Visit our website to learn more about our dental services.