You begin your day with some orange juice and oatmeal with raisins, then brush your teeth directly afterward, and feel like you’ve started things off on a healthy foot. But did you know that habits like these may actually be affecting your enamel?
As a refresher, your enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth, and certain things you do throughout the day, like consuming acidic food and drinks, can cause this important layer to erode over time.
Discover what habits might increase the possibility of acid erosion, so you can take the best care of your pearly whites!
Daily Habits That Can Cause Enamel Erosion
Daily Habit #1: Drinking soda on the regular
Constantly sipping soda? You’re not doing your enamel any favors. According to the American Dental Association,“the major erosion culprit is soft drinks.” And don’t think you’re off the hook if you choose diet. Even “sugar-free” soda contains acid, which can attack your teeth.
Daily Habit #2: Frequently Drinking OJ
Yes, you do get a high dose of vitamin C when you sip orange juice, but having a glass a day could be too much for your enamel. “Even all-natural beverages like orange juice or fresh-squeezed lemonade are higher in acid than regular water, so make them an occasional treat,” advises the American Dental Association.
Daily Habit #3: Brushing your teeth right after downing something acidic
You just drank OJ — so to prevent erosion, you’d want to brush your teeth immediately after, right? Well, not so fast. The American Dental Association recommends waiting an hour before you brush your teeth, which allows your saliva to neutralize the acids and reharden your enamel. Then, when it is time to brush, consider Pronamel Intensive Enamel Repair toothpaste. It helps to strengthen and repair acid-weakened enamel, helping to protect against the effects of enamel erosion. Plus, it’s the #1 dentist-recommended brand for strengthening and protecting enamel.
Daily Habit #4: Sucking on sour candy
If you’re a fan of tart candy, we’re sorry to break the news: Some sour candies can be extremely acidic, with many using citric acids to create that “sour” sensation, notes the American Dental Association. And all that acid can really do a number on your enamel. One study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that even though both sweet and sour candies can be erosive to your enamel, sour candies posed a greater concern.
Daily Habit #5: Snacking on lots of acidic fruits
Everyone knows fruit is incredibly healthy — and only one in 10 adults eat enough fruits or vegetables, according to the CDC. But people should still proceed with caution when choosing acidic produce. That’s because nutritious, acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits can still have some effects on tooth enamel. So eat these foods as part of a meal, rather than by themselves, to decrease the acid’s impact.