Help Your Teeth Survive the Summer
Ready for the heat? Our Sacramento valley summers are known to be scorchers and we resort to all sorts of ways to cool off. One of the most important ways is by staying hydrated. Whatever summer drink you may enjoy, many use a slice of lemon in their beverage to add some flavor. While a little lemon isn’t likely to damage your tooth enamel, adding large amounts of lemon or lime juice is another story.
For example, there are many new fads involving lemon juice, like the lemon water fast and the lemon water detox. A lemon/ginger/turmeric concoction promises to ease cold symptoms. Spas commonly provide lemon and cucumber water. Yet, lemon juice, other citrus drinks and popular apple cider vinegar beverages all contain high amounts of acid, and in quantity they have the potential to damage your enamel. What should you do to protect your teeth?
Citrus and Toothbrushing
The ultimate enemy of your teeth is acid. In the mouth, damaging acid comes from two sources: the bacteria that thrive on sugar and then produce acid, or the acid in the foods and drinks we consume. Although brushing your teeth is the primary way to get rid of harmful oral bacteria, should you do the same for acidic foods and beverages? Absolutely not!
Once acid is on your enamel, your natural saliva plays a large role in neutralizing it. So if you consume an acidic drink, it’s best to wait at least thirty minutes after drinking it before you brush your teeth. Otherwise, your toothbrush could actually be etching your teeth with the help of the acidic liquids. If you can’t wait that long to brush, rinse your mouth with water after drinking acidic beverages or eating acidic foods, like sour candies. These small steps protect your precious tooth enamel from erosion.
How to Have Long-lasting Teeth
Drinking plain water, instead of acidic drinks, is the healthiest way to hydrate. It does much to wash away lingering food particles and acidity. You can also increase saliva production with sugarless gum. If you have other questions about food and drink acidity and how it affects your teeth, feel free to read more on our website or ask your dentist at the Sacramento Dentistry Group.