Hot chocolate, warm cranberry muffins, and other seasonal comfort foods can ease the aches and pains caused by winter's freezing temperatures. But these delicious treats can also wreak havoc on your tooth enamel, especially if the foods contain acid and sugar. Your seasonal comfort foods can potentially lead to tooth erosion. Here's how sugar and acid affect your teeth during the cold season.
What Exactly Is Tooth Erosion?
You might think that since your tooth enamel is the hardest material or substance in your body it can withstand almost anything you eat and drink. Although enamel is strong, resilient, and tough, it can wear down when exposed to the sugars and acids some foods and beverages contain. The wear and tear on your enamel can lead to acid erosion.
Acid erosion not only wears down your tooth enamel, it exposes the tissues inside your teeth to bacteria. Bacteria can feed use the sweet ingredients in your seasonal foods to create additional acids. Your weakened teeth eventually begin to decay.
Some of the seasonal treats you eat can lead to acid erosion or make it worse, including sugary hot chocolates and acidic cranberry desserts. Artificial hot chocolate mixes contain corn syrup and other unnatural sugars. Cranberries contain natural acids that can potentially damage tooth enamel.
You can protect your tooth enamel this season by choosing alternatives treats.
How Do You Protect Your Tooth Enamel and Enjoy Your Treats?
If you're a chocolate lover and simply can't live without your hot cocoas, choose beverage mixes without artificial sugars to calm your urges. You can also make your own hot chocolates to keep down the sugar content. You can use dark chocolate to make your drinks. Dark chocolate may contain special compounds that strengthen your enamel.
Also, choose apple or plain muffins over cranberry muffins. Apples contain fiber and other helpful nutrients that keep your teeth and mouth healthy. If you still want to eat cranberry treats, consume the foods in moderation. You can also brush your teeth before you eat your muffins to prevent acid from damaging your enamel.
Finally, see a dentist for a comprehensive dental exam. The exam can detect weakness in your tooth enamel, which may indicate decay or a loss of minerals. If your enamel is weak, a dentist may provide fluoride rinses to strengthen and protect them. A provider may continue to examine and monitor your tooth enamel through subsequent appointments.
Don't hesitate to contact a dentist for more information about enamel erosion and how to prevent it this cold season.Share