What Foods and Drinks Damage Tooth Enamel?

4/24/18   #Dental Health

At Kids Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we not only monitor the growth and development of tiny smiles and physically work to keep them healthy; but, we also strive to educate our parents and patients. Parents and guardians are predominantly responsible for the shopping and preparation of foods and beverages for their children, so it’s important that they know what foods may cause damage to their little one’s smiles. They also have an even more difficult job - setting the proper example.

Tooth enamel, the surface of teeth which protects the inner (dentin), is damaged when harmful bacteria or acids have a chance to do damage before being removed. A lot of the harmful items are beverages as they easily coat the teeth and penetrate between them. A few items like coffee and alcohol are not on the pediatric list, but we’ll mention those to our parents anyway.

  • Soft Drinks
  • Sports Drinks
  • Energy Drinks
  • Fruit Juices
  • Sour Candy
  • Citrus and Berries
  • Vinegar
  • Tomato Sauce

Ice

Ice alone isn’t dangerous, but children should be taught to not chew ice or to use their teeth to open packaging, chew on pencils, or otherwise put them in harm’s way.

For the Parents

Coffee, teas, and alcohol (wine) can cause damage to your enamel.
If your child consumes anything acidic, they should avoid brushing their teeth for at least 30 minutes. Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state. Rinsing with water is a good practice though.

Dr. Frank Sierra adds, “Most parents know that sugar, sodas, and energy drinks are dangerous to enamel. Knowing to be cautious with healthy fruit (like oranges) is also a good lesson.” 

We like to share our infographic about the rule of 2’s for healthy teeth. These rules can help to combat the enamel damage all year round. The first rule is visiting your dentist twice a year. Click here to request an appointment.