Who can say no to a juicy orange or grapefruit? Their high vitamin C content makes them particularly good choices. Your body and dental health benefit enormously from fruit. Yet some fruits, have high acidic contents.
Any foods and drinks that are high in citric acid can damage your teeth over time.
The acid content of food is according to its pH value. Foods with a pH above 7 are alkaline, whereas those that are below 7 are acidic. Lower pH means, higher levels of acidity. Here are the most acidic fruits and their pH value
Lemon Juice (2.00 – 2.60)
Limes (2.00 – 2.80)
Cranberry Juice (2.30 – 2.52)
Blue Plums (2.80 – 3.40)
Grapes (2.90 – 3.82)
Pomegranates (2.93 – 3.20)
Grapefruits (3.00 – 3.75)
Blueberries (3.12 – 3.33)
Pineapples (3.20 – 4.00)
Apples (3.33 – 4.00)
Peaches (3.30 – 4.05)
Mangos (3.40 – 4.80)
Oranges (3.69 – 4.34)
Vitamin C is in other less acidic fruits like; Cantaloupe, Honeydew melons, Watermelon and Bananas.
Be aware of the acidic content of fruits in the form of juices, wine, jams and jellies or when canned or frozen. Citrus fruits have a high concentration of citric acid. Other acidic foods include pickled vegetables and fermented foods, such as wine and yogurt. Candies, sports drinks, canned ice teas, herbal teas, and sodas have added citric acid. As well as other acids that are harmful to tooth enamel. Carbonated sodas both regular and diet have higher levels of acids. This can be more harmful to your teeth than non-carbonated drinks. Acids improve the taste of food, reading the food label may be the best way to determine the acid content.
Exposure to citric acid and other acids in food and drinks causes tooth enamel to dissolve. Erosion is the demineralization of the hard tooth surface which can lead to tooth decay. Erosion may progress into the inner layer of your tooth, causing sensitivity and pain. Untreated erosion can involve the nerve part of your tooth. This results in the need for root canal treatment.
Sugars are sticky that adheres to your tooth surface as plaque. The bacteria in your mouth use these sugars in the plaque to produce acids. Also, your teeth to the acids found in the drinks.
You don’t have to give up fruit to prevent erosion. Here are tips to keep your teeth healthy:
- Never suck on lemons, limes or any acidic fruit. It softens enamel.
- Use a straw when drinking fruit juices. This keeps it from coming in direct contact with your teeth.
- Rinse with water after eating fruit to dilute the acids in your mouth. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to give your enamel time to resettle.
- Keep your enamel strong by brushing with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Eat cheese after your fruit. This raises the pH levels in your mouth. As well as increases saliva production, this also helps neutralize acids.
Safeguards you can follow. Fluoride toothpaste strengthens and adds hardness to your tooth enamel. Drinking acidic beverages through a straw positioned toward the back of your mouth. this will help reduce the risk of erosion by limiting the exposure of your teeth to the acid. Yet, back teeth are still exposed. Rinse with water for 30 seconds after eating or drinking to help wash away the residual acid. Sugarless gum stimulates saliva and helps neutralize the effects of acids in your mouth. Acidic drinks are less damaging to your enamel accompanied by a meal. And, it is better to drink a whole drink at one time rather than constant sipping.
Eating a balanced diet with lots fruits and veggies rich in vitamin C will help your general health. Just avoid acidic fruits that can hurt your teeth. If you’re experiencing sensitivity schedule an appointment with us today for a check up.