The teeth are the hardest substance in the human body. They are even harder than bone. However, as hard as they are, teeth are susceptible to the harmful effects of acid. Acid is detrimental in two ways. First, the bacteria that cause decay find it much easier to eat into the teeth in an acid environment. More acid means more likelihood of decay. Secondly, if the acid is strong enough it can actually dissolve away the hard enamel over time.
Some common types of acidic drinks are soft drinks, fruit juices, sport drinks, alcohol and coffee with soft drinks being the worst. Many of these sources of acid are very prevalent in our society today and for some can be considered a bad habit. Eliminating them from your diet completely is not realistic for everyone but you can reduce their effect on your teeth by enjoying them in moderation. At a minimum, drinking through a straw may help you avoid some of the damaging elements of the acid by preventing direct contact with your tooth enamel. Healthy alternatives are the best choice. Cool, refreshing water is a great choice for many reasons and is pH neutral. Unsweetened tea will give you that caffeine boost but is a better alternative than sugary drinks. Drinking milk during your lunch will strengthen your teeth with a jolt of calcium that will essentially protect your tooth enamel.
If you think your teeth have been affected by acid, it is important to work with a dentist to find out what the source of the acid is and how to combat it to save your teeth.
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