Is your diet causing sensitive teeth?

Every time you eat or drink something which contains sugar or has a high acidic content, you subject your teeth to an acid attack that can last up to an hour.

The reason for this is that the sugar reacts with the bacteria in your teeth’s plaque and produce harmful acids. Acidic foods also eat away at the enamel and exposing the dentine and leaving your teeth feeling extremely sensitive.

This is why limiting sugary and acidic foods is important when it comes to protecting your teeth.

Read: Carbs can rot your teeth

Yet, while most people already know that sugary foods and drinks are bad for your teeth, many forget that other “healthier” foods can also cause damage.  So eating a “healthier” diet could put your teeth at a real disadvantage.

The natural sugar and acid in fruit juices has been shown to cause tooth decay and are considered “sticky foods” which can remain in the mouth for a long time. This enables the acids in them to begin eroding your tooth enamel.

Foods that can cause dental damage

Certain foods are more “sticky” than others, including most carbohydrates such as bread, biscuits, dried fruit and sweets. These stick to the teeth and cause caries (tooth decay or cavities).

Some foods and drinks are also considered more acidic than others, and some are acidic enough to attack your teeth directly. The acidity of a product is measured by its pH value.

One of the biggest culprits is fruit juice, which can cause demineralisation or “etching” of the tooth enamel and expose the underlying tooth to acid attack. Some of the worst acidic culprits, from the worst offenders to the least, include:

• Lemon Juice

• Wine

• Sports drinks

• Tonic water

• Carbonated soft drinks and diet sodas

• Oranges

• Plums

• Iced Tea

• Blackberries, blueberries and strawberries

• Grapefruit juice

• Pickles

• Vinegar

• Apple Juice and Apple Cider

• Salad dressing

• Cranberries

• Orange Juice

• White Wine

• Tomatoes

Read: Cavities in Baby Teeth May Come From Poor Food Choices

Which foods protect your teeth?

Certain fruits and vegetables, such as apples, green beans, cauliflower, carrots and celery have been shown to “scrub” the teeth as you chew. They can also help promote the flow of saliva, which neutralises acids and protects teeth.

Dairy products and some cheeses which are high in calcium can help keep teeth white as the lactic acid may prevent decay.

Other foods which are not so acidic on the teeth include:

• Yoghurt

• Bananas

• Cheese

• Broccoli

• Avocado

• Cucumber

• Black olives

• Peanut butter

• Milk

• Mineral water.

Looking after your teeth

Regular brushing is always recommended, with most experts advising a minimum of two minutes, twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. 

Most dentists agree that it’s most important to brush before bed as your mouth’s cleaning system, saliva, slows down during the night, leaving your teeth more at risk from decay.

Read: Bad foods for teeth-whitening

Regular use of fluoride is also considered one of the most important factors in preventing tooth decay as it coats teeth with a protective layer and can promote tooth remineralisation

If you already suffer from dental erosion, you can minimise symptoms by using a sensitive care toothpaste brand.

Read more:

Healthy foods that wreck your teeth
Diet and healthy teeth
Healthy diet, healthy teeth

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