Melting Away Your Enamel

In this world of carbonated beverages, fruit juices, and sour candies, we are eroding the enamel off our teeth at alarming rates. The process of enamel erosion is starting with our children. More children today are exposed to soft drinks and sweet and sour candies than a generation before. Besides our teeth, the acidic levels in the food and beverages we intake affects our digestive system, leading to GERD, gastro esophageal reflux disease.

Water has a neutral PH of 7, carbonated drinks have a lower acid PH ranging from 3.7 – 2.5. Some candies have a PH range from 3.0 to 1.6. Enamel erosion begins at a PH of 4.0. Some of these acidic food items can actually burn the gums and cheeks. On average, the acid attack lasts 20 minutes but can be longer with prolonged exposure like sipping a beverage or sucking and chewing candy. The acid weakens the enamel and wears it away. Signs of tooth erosion are sensitivity, discoloration and transparency of the enamel.

The best way to prevent this erosion is to limit your exposure to beverages and food items which are high in acidity. There are many new types of toothpaste that claim to help remineralize your enamel. It is best to talk with your dentist to help manage the erosion you may have. It is recommended to avoid tartar control or whitening toothpastes because they contain abrasives that can further wear weakened enamel.

Think twice before you reach for that soft drink or package of Skittles!