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Too Much of Acidic Foods can Cause Permanent Damage to Teeth

Researchers have revealed that fruit, yoghurt, citric and soft drinks, may seem like harmless snacks and beverages, but improper consumption and overuse may lead to devastating and permanent damage to teeth.

Its known as tooth erosion, the break down of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay.

Early diagnosis and prevention of the effects of tooth erosion are fundamental to keeping teeth healthy for life. Sipping or holding acidic drinks in the mouth before swallowing increases the risk of erosion on dental enamel, said Dr. David Bartlett.

Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape while protecting it from decay.

Soft drinks, which contain acids, break the tooth surfaces. These acids also damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving the mineral structure of teeth, thinning the teeth. Eventually, because of repeated exposure to acid, the tooths enamel will lose its shape and colour and as the damage progresses; the underlying dentin, (which is the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth), becomes exposed causing the teeth to look yellow.

To prevent tooth erosion, Dr. Bartlett advises patients who eat or drink an acidic food or beverage to wait at least 20 minutes before brushing the teeth so as not to destroy the weakened enamel. He also suggests eating acidic foods within five minutes, instead of snacking on them throughout the day, and eating these foods just during meal times in order to minimize the amount of time the acid is on the teeth.

Also, frequently consuming and continual snacking of foods with a low pH (potential of hydrogen) value, such as fruit juices, pickles, fresh fruit, yogurt, honey and raisins can lead to irreversible dental erosion.

It is important to also beware of habits such as lemon-sucking and swishing soda in the mouth. Doing this extends t
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