Skip to content

How Damaging Is Acidic Food to Enamel?

Posted in Dental Care, Oral Health

3 minute read

Young woman with nice teeth biting into a lemonMost of us know that soda is bad for our teeth, but did you know some fruit can be just as damaging? Strawberries, blackberries, grapes, pomegranates, and fruit jellies and jams all have a high level of acidity. Acidic foods do not cause significant harm to the teeth, but they can temporarily weaken or soften the enamel if they are too consistent in your diet.

Signs of acid erosion

Acid erosion can become a problem as time passes, which is why it is important to visit your dentist regularly. When tooth enamel is softened, there is an increased risk for it to be brushed or worn away over time. Here are some of the most common signs of acid erosion:

  • A change in the shape, texture, or appearance of the teeth

  • Loss of brightness

  • Transparency

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Discoloration

  • Dents on the chewing surface

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, be sure to visit your dentist for treatment. The earlier acid erosion is detected, the better.

How to avoid acid erosion

Since your enamel will be softest right after consuming acidic foods and drinks, you should wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth, or consider brushing before you eat. You should also avoid swishing acidic drinks, like soda and lemonade, in your mouth. Since the way you drink has more of an effect on the teeth than the amount you drink, consider drinking these beverages through a straw. The goal is to have as little acidic contact with the teeth as possible.

Which foods are highly acidic?

When it comes to acidic foods, moderation is key. Pay attention to the way your teeth look and feel after eating or drinking something acidic. If sensitivity develops, take a break from highly acidic foods. Refer to the following list to learn which foods and drinks are more acidic than others.

Highly Acidic

Food: blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, cranberries, grapefruit, limes, lemons, pineapples, raspberries, strawberries, pomegranates, lemon juice, pickles, salad dressings, vinegar

Drinks: apple cider, apple juice, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice

Medium Acidity

Food: apples, figs, apricots, nectarines, mangos, oranges, peaches, pears, tomatoes, green olives, pesto, raisins, honey

Drinks: Buttermilk, orange juice, red and white wine

No/Low Acidity

Food: rye, wheat, and white bread; cheddar and parmesan cheese; barley; beans; artichokes; asparagus; avocado; broccoli; cabbage; cauliflower; carrots; celery; corn; cucumber; eggplant; yams; zucchini; black olives; peanut butter

Drinks: milk, mineral water

If you are concerned about acid erosion on your teeth, please schedule a consultation with Beverly Hills dentist Dr. Kevin Sands. He can help determine a plan of action to restore your teeth to their best possible form and function. Please call (310) 273-0111 or fill out our online contact form today.