Your body is a miraculous creation. Even from the moment you put food in your mouth, it begins a process to break the contents down. This first stage of digestion is of tremendous benefit to your body’s ability to absorb protein, vitamins and minerals. However, what takes place in the mouth can also create challenges to the teeth and gums.
In past articles, we’ve explained that an acid attack begins in the mouth each time you eat or drink (other than water). This acid can cause tooth enamel erosion and open the door for oral bacteria accumulation. And, the worst form of acid attacks occur from sugary foods and beverages.
Let’s say you have a candy bar and soda mid-afternoons as a pick-me-up. Because the acid attack will last as long as you’re consuming, if you sip on a soda over the course of an hour, the acid attack will last that long. This is why we encourage people to have sweets as after-dinner desserts rather than in-between meals as a snack. Since your mouth is undergoing an acid attack already from your meal, extending it with dessert is better than sparking a new one during the day.
Of course, brushing your teeth will negate the ill-effects of this acid. However, wait about 30 minutes after you’ve eaten or had a beverage. Your enamel is at its most vulnerable in the midst and just following the acid’s presence. Give your saliva a half hour to dilute it and then brush. When you can’t brush, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water. For those who experience dry mouth due to medications or age, ask us to recommend an oral rinse to keep your mouth moist and create cleansing benefits.
Snacks such as carrots, celery and apples can help to clean your teeth and cause a less-severe acid attack as those brought on by sweets. Be conscious of how your body shape AND your smile will benefit from healthier, well-paced eating and you’ll achieve a better you from head to toe!