The high vitamin C content – in fruits like oranges, strawberries and grapefruits – make them good choices for both your dental health and overall health. Vitamin C plays a major role in the growth, maintenance and repair of your body which keeps it equipped to heal wounds and fight infections – gum disease included. Some fruits, however, have high acid content and can therefore be damaging to the enamel of your teeth.
What Is Dental Erosion?
As hard as tooth enamel is, the high acid content in many fruits and fruit juices can cause it to weaken and demineralise over time. These softened areas of enamel may then become discoloured, sensitive to cold or even sweet foods, and eventually decay and need special types of repair. The calcium in saliva can help strengthen enamel but when the environment in your mouth is too acidic, remineralisation will not occur.
Preventing Enamel Erosion
You don’t have to give up fruit in order to prevent erosion.
Here are a simple few tips:
• Never suck on lemons, limes or any highly acidic fruit.
• Use a straw when drinking fruit juices. This keeps them from coming in direct contact with your teeth.
• Rinse with water after eating fruit to dilute the acids in your mouth, and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
• Eat cheese after your fruit. This raises the pH levels in your mouth and increases saliva production, which also helps neutralise acids.
• Keep your enamel strong by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.