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Many of us know that sugars in foods and drinks can harm our teeth. But do you know why? Bacteria in your mouth feed on those sugars, then produce acids that damage tooth enamel. It is actually the acid, not the sugar itself, that wears away at tooth enamel. Thus, it makes sense that acidic foods and drinks also damage enamel.

The absolute best method to lower your risk for tooth enamel loss and tooth decay is to avoid acidic food and drink all together. This includes such things as citrus fruits, soft drinks, sour candy, juices, alcoholic drinks, and many others. Most people find this difficult.

An alternative in the battle against tooth decay is just to never eat acidic foods alone as a snack. If you want to enjoy an acidic treat, include it in a larger meal! This helps to neutralize the effects of the acids. Drinking plenty of water is also a fantastic idea.

Your body’s natural defense against acid is saliva. Saliva can wash away acids, as well as harmful bacteria and plaque buildup. Try chewing sugarless gum after meals for 20 minutes; this increases saliva flow in your mouth and lowers your risk of cavities. Sugars present in sugared gums feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

The better your diet is, the better your body will look and feel–including your mouth. Of course, there are a plethora of opinions on what is the “best” diet choice. As you make your decisions, aim for a balance specific to your health needs. Just remember to include your oral health!

If you would like more information, call Borsky Dental Group in Cincinnati, Ohio at 513-232-6560. Dr. Jeremy Borsky and our whole team would love to help you keep healthy teeth!